John Pinette dead at 50 | US comic passes away in hotel

John Pinette dead at 50

US comic passes away in hotel

American stand-up John Pinette has died in a Pittsburgh hotel.

The 50-year-old, known for his litany of jokes about his weight, had been suffering liver and heart disease before his death yesterday afternoon.

Local newspapers say there will be no autopsy, as Pinette’s personal doctor signed his cause of death, and authorities suspect no foul play.

Last August the comedian cancelled a series of gigs after checking into rehab for treatment for prescription pill addiction.

Among the fellow comics paying tribute was Jim Gaffigan, who said: ‘So sad to hear about the passing of John Pinette. He was always so funny, so generous and so kind.’

Blue Collar comedian Bill Engvall added: ‘Sad day. He was a genuinely funny man and a great guy. Proud to say I got to work with him.’

And Jim Jefferies said: ‘One of the good guys. I never had a boring moment in his company. Really sad.’

As well as his stand-up, Pinette appeared in the final episode of Seinfield, playing the victim of a carjacking who Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer fail to help.

As a young comic he opened for Frank Sinatra, and his strong singing voice let to him playing Edna Turnblad in the stage musical Hairspray for two years on tour and on Broadway.

Boston-born Pinette had released two CDs and three DVDs and was named stand-up of the year by the American Comedy Awards in 1999. The following year he received a Canadian Gemini Award nomination for his televised performance at Montreal's Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in 2000.

Known for his ‘Nay, nay’ catchphrase, he came to the UK in 2008 to play the Edinburgh Fringe and was on tour when he died.

Here is in action:

Published: 6 Apr 2014

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