Real comedy nerds know Minneapolis has, for the past five years or so, become one of the most vital burgeoning comedy cities in the country. Along with a few other cities like Denver, Austin and Portland, Minneapolis has proven you don’t necessarily need to move to Los Angeles or New York in order to prove your comedy prowess. Well, Minneapolis continues to prove its merit and strength, though most recently they’ve proven that strength and sense of community through tragedy.
Gus Lynch, a beloved comedian from the Twin Cities, died while on a Mexican vacation with his family. Lynch fell 30 feet from one of the ruins’ structures, which resulted in a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Although surgery was performed, Lynch died from his injuries the following morning. Lynch was 42. By all accounts, Lynch was an absolute force.
Lynch was not only a comedian, but also worked as Director of Live Events for longtime Minneapolis-based comedy record label Stand Up! Records. In that position helped found the Akumal Comedy Festival in Akumal, Mexico. In order to celebrate the life of Gus Lynch, the comedy community of the Twin Cities have come together to produce a memorial show tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 14 at the Turf Club at 4 pm. Bands and comedians will perform. Admission is free. A tribute page has also been created at TheTurkeys.net.
In order to get a better sense of who Gus Lynch was, I strongly recommend you check out this piece on Minneapolis City Pages titled Gus Lynch’s Greatest Hits. I’d also like to share an email comedian Gabe Noah sent me. I’ve reprinted some of it below with Gabe’s permission.
I just wanted to reach out and let you know about a tragedy we had in our scene. It might make people laugh harder at the positive things if we can bum them the fuck out with this story. Our friend’s name was Gus Lynch. He was an actor (North Country, Saving Silverman, Halloween Resurrection, and my fave MVP: Most Vertical Primate) turned comedian. He loved comedy…as I said he went from being an extremely talented actor to being a shit comedian by his own choice. He quickly became the best MC in a three-club town, and more recently won the “Greatest Comedian Ever” contest, which, despite that idiotic name was a legitimate contest run by a great club (Joke Joint Comedy Club). He was a member and best actor of our stand up/sketch comedy gang The Turkeys (mydamnchannel, cracked.com), and was the director of live events for Stand Up! Records as well as the co-founder of the Akumal Comedy Festival).
If you’re wondering what kind of guy Gus was, I’ll say this: He was the kind of guy who died by falling off an ancient pyramid. It’s really fuckin sad, but true. Even sadder? That’s the second time I’ve used that pyramid joke…Let’s call it coping.
The real point is that Gus’ death has rocked our scene. He worked like hell to give others a stage to perform on as a producer of many independent shows (and the festival). He had an old-school devotion to doing his job on stage. If he was headlining he played that role, and if he was hosting he would leave bigger laughs on the table so that he’d better set up the next guy. He was currently starring in The Turkeys commercial web series As The Schedule Turns, and he had a hell of a lot more going on behind the scenes. He was the big brother to scores of MPLS comics, but the real tragedy is he was a devoted husband and father to two young kids.
It’s hard to encapsulate a normal guy, and Gus was a mountain.