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Kenny DeForest death: Comedy world mourns loss of beloved stand-up, 37, killed in road accident

Stand-up comedian Kenny DeForest, renowned for his appearances on US late night shows, has died in a road accident aged 37.

DeForest died on Wednesday (13 December) from injuries sustained on 8 December in Brooklyn, New York, with the news of his passing confirmed on a GoFundMe page set up by the comic’s friends in order to raise funds for his family’s medical bills.

According to his fellow comedian Ryan Beck, DeForest underwent surgery to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure from a breed in his brain.

Those closest to the comic originally thought he had been hit by a car, but the findings of an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) report has led to the belief that DeForest was riding an e-bike at the time of the accident.

Beck told Deadline: “We’ve learnt more information today from an EMS report. Kenny was on an e-bike and crashed. I spoke with crossing guards at the area today, and am still in search of more information. There is no police report because it was not a hit-and-run as first understood.”

Announcing the news of DeForest’s death, Beck added he died “surrounded by his parents, family, and friends”.

Kevin DeForest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ (YouTube)
Kevin DeForest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ (YouTube)© Provided by The Independent

“Kenny’s final moments included some of his favorite songs, stories of his childhood, and memories of his extensive positivity and joy for life,” he wrote.

Beck hailed DeForest as “a tremendous person and comedian”, adding: “All of us in the New York comedy scene are truly devastated.”

Tributes have poured in for the tragic comic, with the X account of Late Night with Seth Meyers, on which DeForest previously appeared, saying: “Kenny DeForest was a universally beloved comedian who died tragically, and much too young. His relaxed, confident delivery always stood out.”

The social media page shared a clip from one of his DeForest’s routines on the show, adding: “As you can see from his debut late night set on LNSM, he wasn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics, but never just to be edgy – always in service of an original angle and a great joke. It’s a shame we won’t get to see what he comes up with next.”

Comedian Adam Conover, 40, called DeForest’s death “a tragedy”, hailing him as “one of the funniest and most beloved comics any of us knew”.

DeForest started out performing on the comedy circuit in Missouri before relocating to New York.He made his debut appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers in 2017 and went on to feature on The Late Late Show with James Corden

Story by Jacob Stolworthy: The Independent

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