Philadelphia comedian Chris Cotton has died at age 32, Comedy Central announced this week. His cause of death has not yet been made public.
“We’re devastated by the loss of Chris Cotton — a hilarious comedian, a beloved member of the Comedy Central family and a joy to be around,” the network wrote on Twitter. “He will be missed.”
A longtime comic, Cotton was known locally for his regular appearances at the Raven Lounge as part of Center City Comedy, which he started with follow comics H. Foley and Conrad Roth, according to the comedian’s recently published book, What My Dad Did: My Theory on Joke Writing. Cotton was also a fixture in the Philadelphia comedy scene, performing at local venues such as Punch Line Philly, Helium Comedy Club, and the Laff House.
Last year, Cotton made it to Comedy Central as part of the network’s Creators Program, which resulted in him co-writing and co-starring in Every Damn Day, an online weekday talk show. Cotton last year also hosted red carpet coverage for the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis.
In addition to his work at Comedy Central, his IMDB profile indicates, Cotton additionally appeared in the 2017 TV movie Diwal’oween and the 2015 web series Carpool Rules, as well as Gotham Comedy Live.
Most recently, Cotton this week performed in Philadelphia at Tattooed Mom on South Street. A memorial show for Cotton is scheduled for Jan. 6 at City Winery.
At the time of his death, Cotton and wife Erica, who married in 2011, were expecting a child to arrive in February, according to online gift registries. A recently established GoFundMe campaign benefitting Cotton’s family had raised more than $30,000 as of Thursday morning.
After news of Cotton’s death spread, friends, fans, and fellow comics expressed their sympathies on social media.
“A few weeks ago Chris Cotton randomly hit me up to thank me for a gig I got him YEARS ago that led to some other work for him,” comedian Hannibal Buress tweeted. “I was in in the middle of booking Isola Fest and booked him during the call. I was psyched to see him this weekend. RIP.”
“Chris Cotton was a beautiful person with so much love to give,” The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon writer Nate Dern wrote. “Everyone loved him instantly. He regularly made me laugh so hard that I cried.”
“My Heart aches for his wife and his loved ones,” Kerry Codett, a comedian and writer for Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas on HBO, wrote. “That was a really good dude. Heaven just earned them a real one.”