Tributes paid to comic Darren Maskell after he dies at 37 | Former open mic circuit regular had been ill for a while

Tributes paid to comic Darren Maskell after he dies at 37

Former open mic circuit regular had been ill for a while

Darren Maskell, a familiar face on the open mic scene in London and the South East in the late 2000s and early 2010s, has died at the age of 37.

His mother Suzanne confirmed the news to Chortle, saying: 'Darren had been ill for a little while but he did fight right to the very end.'

Born in Croydon, Maskell started performing stand-up in July 2008, was named North Essex new act of 2009, and made the final of the Laughing Horse new act competition in 2011.

Maskell performed a show at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe entitled A Woodlouse Trapped Underneath A Glass. He was a low-key absurdist, and his trademark routine was to bring out a collection of coat hangers and talk the audience through them.

In 2019, he spent a couple of months in hospital with sepsis and was subsequently diagnosed with a spine infection, which left him housebound. 

But he remained a comedy fan and made two series of a podcast called Defenders Of The Universe, asking comedian guests including Ian Smith, Joz Norris and Bobby Mair to defend various things.

At one point, he put himself forward to be immortalised as a statue in Croydon – and came fourth in a public poll.

Those who worked with him on the comedy circuit paid tribute,

Norris wrote on X: 'RIP Darren Maskell. He was so funny and generous and kind. When I was starting out in comedy he was one of the people who showed me how silly and imaginative and funny it was possible to be. Feel very sad to think I won't see him being funny again.'

 Tom Goodliffe posted: 'RIP Darren Maskell. Aside from being a very funny, authentic and original comedian, I always found him to be a very kind man. Why do crap things happen to nice people?'

And comedian turned author Max Dickins wrote: 'The world is a lot less funny and kind for not having @DarrenMaskell in it.'

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Published: 11 Feb 2024

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