Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Memory of Comedian Todd Lynn

Comedian Todd Lynn died last Friday from complications of diabetes and pancreatic cancer, suffering two strokes and a heart attack. --

What can I say about Todd? He was quiet, humble, kept to himself … Oh wait … Todd LYNN? Take two: Todd was smart, brash, funny, and fearless. He was opinionated and you learned what his opinions were within five minutes of meeting him. He would even tell you about yourself to your face free of charge whether you asked or not. Not a very comfortable thing that, but at least you knew where you stood with him. In an industry built on backstabbing Todd was almost refreshing. 

I met Todd back in the late 90s and by way of introduction the first thing he said to me was, "We have a joke in common. I saw you do yours on DEF JAM. Yours is better." If you knew Todd, you know this was high praise. And Todd didn’t praise a lot of things. On the contrary, I saw him take young comics to task many times. And by young I mean anyone doing stand-up less than a decade. 

Todd was also vociferous in his condemnation of the entertainment industry and how it treats and marginalizes Black talent. He gave the industry no quarter. He never hesitated to call bullshit in a business that’s hip deep in it. 

Although short, I almost always enjoyed my conversations with Todd. And they were short, by choice. Long convos with Todd often left me angry and enervated. Todd could make you mad at a sunny day. But if you listened closely, there was always some nugget of information, some truth about the craft, an insight about the art of stand-up that was helpful, at least to me. And I think that's what I will miss most about that angry, funny man.

Thanks for reading The Urban Erma. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe for free on iTunes. In case you were wondering, in addition to blogging I am also a pretty good stand-up comedian. I do "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, I'd be Jazz. Want to see a show? Check out my schedule at @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com


Tracee Loran said...

"Todd could make you mad at a sunny day." Yes he could! Tough person to digest for most people, but like everyone he did have a soft spot. He did my fundraiser at the last minute no questions asked. I spoke to Todd about a month before his passing and he sounded more humble & soft-spoken than ever. Death is hard. So final. But I pray that Todd Lynn made his peace & that those he left behind will find peace. Thanks for posting this; his Mom would be happy..Tracee Loran

Leighann Lord said...

Thanks Tracee!