Minneapolis comedy veteran Andy Ritchie passes away

The comedy world lost another unique, hilarious voice this week as Minneapolis comedy veteran Andy Ritchie passed away last Thursday of a brain tumor. 

Ritchie got his start in comedy as an improviser with Comedy Sportz alongside other Twin Cities comedy standouts including Nick Swardson and Colton Dunn. The three became close friends, and earlier this year Swardson and Dunn, along fellow comedian Brendan Walsh, set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of Ritchie and his fiancee in order to help cover his medical expenses. The fund raised over $100,000, including a sizable donation from Daniel Tosh thanks to a massive sports bet. 

In addition to establishing himself as an impressive improviser, Ritchie also became known as a rising star in the rapidly-expanding Twin Cities standup comedy scene, performing on stages all over town, including Acme Comedy Co. In 2009, Ritchie moved to Austin, then Los Angeles, where he continued to carve out his own unique comedic voice in improv, standup, and writing, and would go on to inspire well-known comics such as Joe Mande and Shane Mauss.
— joe mande (@JoeMande) November 26, 2015 Ritchie's passing comes nearly one year to the day of the anniversary of local comedians Gus Lynch and Bill Young, who died late last year. 

Comedians from all over the country have acknowledged Ritchie as both a hilarious performer and kind-hearted guy, posting touching tributes. His GoFundMe page now encourages visitors to donate to the National Brain Tumor Society on his behalf. 

Earlier this year, Swardson spoke about his kinship with Ritchie, calling him, "One of the funniest — but more importantly — one of the nicest dudes.”

Ritchie will be missed by friends and fans alike, and his passing is another unfortunate loss for the Twin Cities comedy scene.