Update: June 4
Fox’s family confirms John was 59 when he died. John is survived by his children Trundy, Ryan, Robbyn and his grandchildren Samantha, Singen, Kellan, Cruz and Chevy. His son Ryan had this to say to Laughspin:
My dad was lucky enough to be able to do something he loved on stage for 30 years. He had an abundance of friends and fans as well as the joy of knowing that he influenced many up and coming comedians over the years. He touched so many lives and made so many people laugh that the world just won’t be the same without him. He will be forever missed and never forgotten
In early March, veteran comedian John Fox made an announcement through YouTube: “My name is John Fox, and I’m dying. I have stage four colon cancer, and there’s not a stage five…The doctors said I got two weeks to two months to live.” We can confirm that yesterday at about 5 pm PST, Fox lost his battle with the disease. He was
Fox honed his comedy chops at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, making his first appearance there on June 14, 1979. Three months later, he was a paid regular — not an easy accomplishment — and six months after that, he scored his first television gig. Variety once described Fox like this: “He’s sort of like the wacked out, weirded, next door neighbor who drops by to borrow a beer and you can’t get rid of him type. Everyone has a friend like this. You just can’t help liking him.”
Comedian Tammy Pescatelli has fond memories of Fox. “He was a cantankerous old fart,” she tells Laughspin, adding she got a chance to see him in hospice a few weeks ago. “I remembered him from the Rodney Dangerfield specials when I was a kid and then was thrilled to work with him a number of times over the years. He was gruff and jaded, but had the heart of a Teddy bear. So many comics of my generation were inspired by him.”
Although Fox was physically weak during his last few months, sustaining himself on little more than ice chips and morphine for the pain, the comedian made the best of his life. He established the John Fox Memorial Comedians Cancer Fund, to help provide financial support to comedians so that they can get checkups– including colonoscopies, pap smears, mammograms and other routine cancer screening tests. Fox had explained the reason he had barely any chance to fight the late-stage cancer is that he never got checked out when the cancer was more treatable.
And let’s check out Fox in better times. This is him onstage, performing on Opening Night of Rodney’s Place, a 1989 television special that celebrated the debut of Rodney Dangerfield’s new comedy club in Las Vegas. Fox was in good company, seeing as the likess of Tim Allen and Jeff Foxworthy also appeared on the show.
This final video is from a 1994 appearance on Comedy Central.
Our thoughts go out to Fox’s friends and family. Check back for updates.