Ian Cognito is a comedian I had heard of, but had never seen live.
I first read the news on Chortle’s site with the news of his sad death, and it includes a performance from Glastonbury in 1999 which I’ll link in the comments as well. It’s full of fruity language, but it shows how to command a room.
In my brief attempt at trying stand-up comedy, the one thing I did learn is that it’s the hardest job ever (unless you have kids and can waffle about them for 20 minutes and the audience will pretend to be interested). I used to think working at Little Chef was the hardest job, because if a customer says the food doesn’t taste right, you can’t really argue with that. However, you can only tell the same jokes for so long, and you can’t repeat them year in, year out – like a musician can do their ‘best of’ hits 20 years on and still have the crowd cheering.
What struck me about 60-year-old Ian Cognito’s sad passing is that he died on stage. That’s often a euphemism for having a bad gig (and boy, did I have a few of those), but like Tommy Cooper on ITV, Ian Cognito unfortunately did exactly the same, and again, the audience thought it was part of the act.
It’s one thing to presume that someone went out doing the very thing that they loved, but in both Mr Cooper and Mr Cognito’s cases, they have pulled off an absolute work of (unfortunate) genius. They will have left the audience wanting more, and they will have left the world wanting more.
I hope wherever they are now, they are chatting about this and comparing comedy stories.
Check out the video below:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.