Comedian and ‘Rel’ Co-Creator Kevin Barnett Dies Suddenly at Age 32

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
January 24, 2019Entertainment
Comedian and ‘Rel’ Co-Creator Kevin Barnett Dies Suddenly at Age 32
Comedian Kevin Barnett performs onstage at the Vulture Festival Presents: Comedy Night at The Bell House, Brooklyn, New York, May 31, 2015. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Writer and stand-up comedian Kevin Barnett has died, according to a statement from Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment. He was 32.

Barnett co-created the Fox television comedy series “Rel” along with fellow comedians Lil Rel Howery and Josh Rabinowitz. The show premiered in September 2018 and stars Howery.

“Our hearts are broken, as are those of everyone at ‘Rel,’ at the news of Kevin Barnett’s passing,” read the statement from Fox Entertainment. “He was an incredibly funny, wildly talented man who had so much more to do and so many more stories to tell. We send our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time.”

The cause of his death is still unknown. Barnett’s last Instagram post was over the weekend while he was in Mexico.

“In mexico. Bought myself a sweater,” he captioned a picture of himself wearing his new souvenir Saturday. “Been accused of appropriation several times. In my head I just gave a lady some money so I ain’t cold. Either way. Swag heavy. Mixtape comin.”

Comedy Central also tweeted about the comedian’s sudden death and wrote: “Kevin Barnett was an incredible comedian and writer, contributing to Broad City, the stand-up community and beyond. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Barnett’s agency, United Talent Agency, also tweeted out a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and client Kevin Barnett. He was an incredible talent and a wonderful person. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will miss him.”

In addition to the television series “Rel,” Barnett also worked on the Fox series “Unhitched” and TruTV’s sketch comedy series “Friends of the People,” according to USA Today.

Howery, who stars in the Fox TV show “Rel,” was at a loss of words to express his sorrow. “I was trying to figure out what to say but I can’t,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m truly heartbroken by this and just really hurt as the hours pass…So gifted and so dope and a true friend!!!! I don’t know what else to say this is crazy to me!!!!”

“Rel” executive producer Mike Scully said, “Kevin Barnett was a great standup, but I knew him as a smart, funny, talented TV writer and just a really sweet guy who made the insanity of the late nights more fun. Condolences to his family and friends. Can’t believe I’m writing this.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actress Chelsea Peretti tweeted: “i am so sad” upon learning of the news.

CNN contributed to this report

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.