Kevin Barnett, co-creator/executive producer of Fox’s comedy series Rel, has died suddenly while vacationing in Mexico. The writer-comedian, who passed away earlier today in Tijuana, was 32. The cause of death is not known at this time. UPDATE Jan. 24: According to the Forensic Medical Service, cited by E! News, Barnett died of “Non Traumatic Hemorrhage, caused by pancreatitis.”
Barnett’s last post on social media was two and a half days ago from Mexico (you can see it below).
Barnett, a rising comic in New York City, recently co-created and executive produced fellow comedians Lil Rel Howery and Josh Rabinowitz Rel, the freshman Fox/20th TV comedy series starring Howery.
“Our hearts are broken, as are those of everyone at Rel, at the news of Kevin Barnett’s passing. He was an incredibly funny, wildly talented man who had so much more to do and so many more stories to tell. We send our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time,” 20th TV and Fox Entertainment said in a statement.
With Robinowitz, Barnett previously wrote a comedy project for NBC as a starring vehicle for the duo, who previously served as executive producers, head writers, and cast members of TruTV’s sketch series Friends of the People. The two also worked together as writers/consulting producers on the NBC/20th TV comedy series The Carmichael Show.
Barnett previously was a series regular on MTV2’s Guy Code, a writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City, Fox’s Unhitched, The Eric Andre Show Show (Adult Swim) and the animated Lucas Bros Moving Co. (Fox). He also made appearances on Adam Devine’s House Party as well as in Funny As Hell (HBO) and Top Five (written and directed by Chris Rock).
Barnett also starred in the viral hit Homo Thugs and appeared in the indie How to Follow Strangers and Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me. Additionally, he co-hosted the podcast The Roundtable of Gentlemen.