Comedian Kenny DeForest dies aged 37 after tragic accident

Kenny DeForest, a beloved comedian known for his appearances on late-night comedy shows, tragically passed away at the age of 37 following a severe e-bike crash in Brooklyn. The accident, which occurred on December 8, led to DeForest being hospitalized and undergoing skull surgery for a brain bleed. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful, and he passed away five days later at Kings County Hospital. DeForest, a native of Springfield, Missouri, was a rising star in the comedy world, recognized for his unique style and appearances on shows like “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” His comedic talent had earned him accolades, including being named one of the “Funniest People to Watch” by Comedy Central in 2015 and one of the 50 Funniest People in Brooklyn by Brooklyn Magazine the same year.The circumstances surrounding DeForest’s crash initially led friends and family to believe it was a hit-and-run incident. However, further investigation revealed that no other vehicles were involved. Ryan Beck, a friend of DeForest, shared, “We’ve learned 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.” 

DeForest’s impact on the comedy scene was profound. He was known not just for his appearances on television but also for his live performances, including a memorable incident in 2020 when he recounted a story about Dave Chappelle discussing police brutality against people of color at a gig in Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. This story went viral, further cementing DeForest’s reputation as a comedian who could tackle serious issues with humor and insight. Adam Conover, the creator of “Adam Ruins Everything,” paid tribute to DeForest, describing him as “one of the funniest and beloved comics any of us knew.” Conover encouraged his followers to watch DeForest’s comedy special, “You Don’t Know Who I Am?,” which was released on YouTube in September. Fellow comedian James Fritz reminisced about DeForest, saying, “What I’d give for one more car ride together taking turns playing songs for each other, me making fun of him for being a little too hippy and young and him making fun of me for being a little too bitter and old. Just look at that smile. I’ll never forget you Kenny Deforest.” Atsuko Okatsuka, another comedian, tweeted, “Kenny DeForest was always down to clown. A bright light. You’ll be missed.” These tributes highlight the love and respect DeForest garnered in the comedy community. DeForest’s approach to comedy was unique. In a 2015 interview, he explained his preference for developing jokes on stage rather than writing them down, saying, “I write much better when there’s an audience in front of me. I like having the added pressure to find the funny. That said, I write things on paper to get them out of my head and written down.” His untimely death has left a void in the comedy world. DeForest was known for his ability to bring laughter and thought-provoking commentary to his audience, a talent that will be deeply missed. His legacy lives on through his work, remembered by fans and fellow comedians alike for his unique voice and the joy he brought to the stage. RIP.