UK standup comedian Ian Cognito dies onstage during show

LONDON — British standup comedian Ian Cognito has died on stage during a gig.

South Central Ambulance Service said Friday that medics were called to a club in Bicester, southern England, Thursday night, and "sadly one patient passed away at the scene." Police said the death was not suspicious.

Show organizer Andrew Bird told the BBC that when Cognito sat down and fell silent, "everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking."

Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, never achieved wide fame but was highly respected among fellow comedians.

Entertainer Jimmy Carr tweeted of Cognito's onstage death: "That's commitment to comedy."

"Little Britain" star Matt Lucas tweeted: "He was always kind to me when I started out, and brilliant and provocative and entirely original onstage. What a loss."

You may also like these

'Suicide Squad' loses some luster in 2nd...

Aug 14, 2016

"Suicide Squad" isn't looking as bright in weekend two, dropping an estimated 67 percent

Court rejects Cosby's attempt to reseal testimony...

Aug 15, 2016

A federal appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about...

Box Office Top 20: 'Sausage Party' scarfs up...

Aug 15, 2016

It was a feast for the raunchy animated comedy "Sausage Party" at the box office this weekend

DeGeneres defends herself after posting photo...

Aug 17, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres says she's not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an...

'American Horror Story' coming to Halloween...

Aug 17, 2016

The ghosts, vampires and other freaky misfits from "American Horror Story" are coming to Universal...

Sign up now!