Comedian Barry Crimmins has died at the age of 64, his wife says. In the late '70s, Crimmins founded Boston's Ding Ho Comedy Club, which helped launch the careers of stand-up comedians like Steven Wright, Denis Leary and Dana Gould.
Helen here with sad news...Barry passed peacefully yesterday with Bobcat and I. He would want everyone to know that he cared deeply about mankind and wants you to carry on the good fight. Peace.— Barry Crimmins (@crimmins) March 1, 2018
In January, Crimmins tweeted that he had cancer and that his prognosis was not good. The comedian’s death was announced Thursday on Twitter by his wife Helen, who wrote, “Barry passed peacefully yesterday with Bobcat [Goldthwait] and I. He would want everyone to know that he cared deeply about mankind and wants you to carry on the good fight. Peace.”
OK, I've told my mom (she's 93!) so can be more specific. I have cancer. My prognosois isn't good. My care (kicked in Jan 1) attitude and emotional state are all fine though. Prayers appreciated- statements of your stance on spirituality or lack thereof sre not. Love to all!— Barry Crimmins (@crimmins) January 27, 2018
Crimmins played an influential role in developing and promoting a more politically minded and socially aware vein of comedy.
In the '90s, Crimmins emerged as an activist against child pornography after discovering chat rooms for pedophiles on the nascent internet. A child-abuse survivor himself, Crimmins even testified in front of Congress about the issue in 1995.
“We sort of were able to carry on from where Lenny Bruce got things,” Crimmins said on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast in 2013. “Lenny did all this stuff, but it had to be about him, because he was always in trouble. Now you’re not going to be in trouble for being that guy. And so now, you can actually get down to brass tacks.” Crimmins was the subject of the 2015 documentary Call Me Lucky, directed by his fellow comedian Bobcat Goldthwait.
Goldthwait, who chronicled Crimmins' career and activism in his 2015 documentary, Call Me Lucky, paid tribute with a photo of his longtime friend on Instagram.
Other comedy frontrunners like Judd Apatow and John Hodgman have paid tribute to Crimmins since the news of his death.
Barry Crimmins was a compassionate, hilarious man who touched so many lives. He gave so much of himself to help other people. I hope his life inspires others to follow his example. And he was hilarious. We love you Barry. https://t.co/egRwEfiZda— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 1, 2018
“Barry Crimmins was a compassionate, hilarious man who touched so many lives,” Apatow wrote on Twitter. “He gave so much of himself to help other people. I hope his life inspires others to follow his example. And he was hilarious. We love you Barry.”
I had not known this sad sad news til this moment. Barry Crimmins has been an inspiration as a comedian and model of human courage and decency for as long as I’ve been conscious. https://t.co/4UXHKuIf0r— John Hodgman (@hodgman) March 1, 2018
“Barry Crimmins has been an inspiration as a comedian and model of human courage and decency for as long as I’ve been conscious,” Hodgman tweeted.
Gould also paid tribute to Crimmins.
Rest In Peace, Barry Crimmins.
“He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people?"
- Marlene Dietrich in Touch Of Evil— Dana Gould (@danagould) March 1, 2018
Patton Oswalt called Crimmins a "blazing, hilarious soul."
We don’t have Barry Crimmins anymore. And we really, really needed him. A blazing, hilarious soul. RIP https://t.co/jbzdDjBcJn— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 1, 2018
Actor and comedian Tom Arnold called Crimmins "my brother."
Barry Crimmins was my brother. He’s a warrior & funny & most of all a very good boy. ❤️to his family & million friends. Barry loved people but not a huge fan of the Pope. Watch the documentary @bcgoldthwait did about him “Call Me Lucky” Barry was #MeToo before #MeToo was #MeToo— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) March 1, 2018