Tributes from colleagues and friends poured out tonight following the news that comedian Kevin Meaney has died. The veteran stand up comic, whose acting credits include numerous animated television series and the Tom Hanks film Big among others, and who also made dozens of appearances on late night television, was 60. He was found in his home today in Forestburgh, New York.
“So kind. So damn funny. So sorry for his loved ones for his loss,” said Bob Saget about Meaney on Twitter. Saget’s tribute was one of many from fellow comedians that made particular mention of how nice a person Meaney was. “Always thought Kevin Meaney was a brilliant comedian,” said Patton Oswalt. “Then we hung out in Ireland and I found out he was also a terrific person.”
Born in 1956, Meaney began his comedy career in 1980 and saw his break come 6 years later with his first HBO comedy special, followed by his debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson the next year. In the decades since he made dozens of appearances on late night television, including The Late Show with David Letterman, Oprah, Regis and Kathy Lee, and Conan among many others.
Known for his catch phrase “That’s not right!”, said while imitating his mother, Meaney’s material mined his family as well as the more mundane aspects of his life as a comedian for material. He was also known for ending his shows with a bit of meta humor at his own expense, often telling deliberately unfunny jokes followed by a song declaring it doesn’t matter if the audience liked them.
Meaney’s most notable film credit is in 1988’s Big, starring Tom Hanks, but he was a prolific comedic voice actor who appeared on several classic animated series, among them Dr. Katz, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Garfield and Friends, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Duckman. Meaney appeared on the NBC series Ned & Stacey, and in 2010 lent his voice to the animated sequel The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue.
Read on for some of the tributes from friends and colleagues.