Despite his announcement just last month that he had seven to nine months to live, cancer-sticken comedian Ron Shock succumed to the disease today at the age of 69.
On Dec. 14, 2011, Shock was diagnosed with urethral cancer, and the storyteller chronicled his treatments on YouTube through this year, the most recent video just two weeks ago (see below), where Shock expressed his gratitude for the care he received at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas.
Shock, called the “Greatest American Storyteller” by the Las Vegas Review Journal, ran with the Texas Outlaw Comics in the early 1980s alongside Steve Epstein and Bill Hicks, and created The Bill Hicks Chronicles in 2010 to reflect on his times with the late comedy icon. Best known for his long-form comic stories, the Las Vegas-based comedian started comedy in his late 30s and referred to his act as “comedy from a life fully lived.”
His Facebook wall, which has been active with health updated the last few months, is now blank, while his official site at RonShock.com lists his name and the years of his life: 1942-2012. Crackers Comedy Club in Indianapolis was scheduled to host a fundraiser on May 23 at 8 pm to help Shock pay for his medical bills. We’re hearing the show will still go on and funds will raised will help his family pay for his remaining hospital bills.
Our thoughts go out to Shock’s family and friends.
UPDATE: 10:30 pm EST
Ron Shock’s wife Rhonda left this message on the comedian’s Facebook page:
Dear Everyone. I am so sorry that I was not able to call all of our friends and family before the news got out, but my sweet baby was larger than life and like he always said, “That’s Comedy”…
What he wanted each of his friends and family to know is that he loved you and was proud to call you friends…and you know that. What he wanted his fans to know was that he loved you…and you kept him going these past five months. The thought that he was not going to ever be able to step on a stage again and feel your love and share his soul and heart with you all is, I think what broke his heart in the end. Those who know him knew he never did his art for the money…he did it for love and passion and he never mailed it in…he brought his heart and soul to every performance because his audience deserved it. I know he is in heaven tonight playing in front of a packed crowd with his beloved Bill and other beloved comics and loved ones who went before him.
RIP my sweet, sweet baby. I was lucky to know you. I was blessed to have shared ten minutes of your life, much less ten years.
UPDATE 2: May 18, 1:15 pm EST
FROM RHONDA: WE WILL BE HAVING A MEMORIAL/ROAST FOR RON IN VEGAS AND LIKELY ONE IN HOUSTON OR NEW ORLEANS AS WELL WITH A SECOND LINE. YOU KNOW HIM, HE WASN’T REALLY INTO FUNERALS. HE WANTED TO SPREAD LAUGHTER, NOT TEARS. I AM DESTROYED RIGHT NOW, BUT WILL KEEP Y’ALL POSTED AS TIME PASSES. ON BEHALF OF MY BRILLIANT HUSBAND, THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE. IT WOULD HAVE TOUCHED HIM TO THE BONE AND HE WOULD HAVE CRIED WITH JOY TO KNOW THAT HE TOUCHED THE LIVES OF SO MANY. IN THE MEANTIME, AS HE WOULD SAY, “ROCK ‘N ROLL!”