Gus Lynch passed away last week after falling from the Coba Mayan ruins while on vacation with his family in Mexico. He left behind a local legacy cut far too short.
Over the past several years, there have been hundreds of aspiring standups in the Twin Cities, all looking to make their mark on our amazing comedy scene. There are very few, however, who have given just as much -- if not more -- than they have received. Gus Lynch was one of those comedians.
A fixture in essentially every major (and minor) club in town, Lynch had a breakout year in 2014. Loved by both fans and his fellow comedians, he recently made the shift to headliner status, and was poised to make 2015 even bigger.
In honor of his memory, here are some of the biggest accomplishments and contributions Lynch made to our Twin Cities comedy scene throughout his career.
Gus fights City Hall
When rock met comedy
Back in 2009, Comedy Corner Underground was forced to temporarily shut its doors due to a wildly outdated ordinance that lumped standup comedy into the same category of live entertainment as adult entertainment and stage shows (read the full story here
). A group of comedians banded together to challenge the ruling, in order to save the tiny basement club that had provided valuable stage time to dozens of performers. In what is likely the most entertaining city council meeting in history, Lynch and his five-year-old son both addressed the governing body, pleading their case to change the ordinance. Needless to say, the group was successful in the crusade, and thanks in part to Lynch's efforts, CCU has been responsible for helping the comedy community continue to grow over the past five years.
With deep roots in the comedy, music, and performing-arts community, Lynch was constantly looking for new ways to provide exposure for Twin Cities artists of all kinds. When he launched the Laugh. Rock. Repeat. series, he accomplished exactly that by bringing together the wildest, edgiest comedians with top local bands to create a unique event that was long overdue. The series was successful in providing another avenue for artists to develop, while putting on a pretty bad-ass party at the same time.
Lynch -1, hecklers - 0
This past summer, Lynch served as one of the judges for the finals of House of Comedy's Funniest Person With A Day Job contest, alongside several other funny people, and one shitty morning radio talk show host (we won't bother saying his name
). The personality in question decided that it would be a great idea to heckle some of the contestants. This decision didn't sit well with Gus, who verbally destroyed the hack, leading to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. While other comedians may have bragged about shutting down a disrespectful heckler, Lynch downplayed the situation, proving that his only motivation was to support the hard-working comedians onstage that night.
Aside from being an incredible standup comedian, Lynch was also an accomplished actor who had a passion for performance. That's why he was a natural choice to join the comedy super-crew the Turkeys. With Gus as one of the group's key players, the Turkeys have been exploding on the internet, thanks to their hilarious video sketches available through online comedy hub My Damn Channel. Just a few weeks ago, the group released their first-ever web series, As the Schedule Turns, with Lynch in the starring role. The best part of his sketches (aside from being funny), is that it's obvious how much fun he's having in front of the camera, something that his fellow Turkeys can all attest to.
Best Comedian Ever
This past summer, 64 of the funniest people in Minnesota took the stage at Joke Joint Comedy Club in hopes of being crowned the Best Comedian Ever. While the talent pool was insanely deep, Lynch was ultimately named the winner. We spoke with him
immediately after his big win, but he was less interested in publicity and more interested in thanking every single person who came up to congratulate him. Once we finally got him alone, Lynch was quick to talk about how great his fellow performers were, and how happy he was to use his prize money to pay some bills and take care of his kids. On that night he showed that he wasn't just the Best Comedian Ever, he was a great person too.