Writer, comedian, and actor Jak Knight died the night of July 14 in Los Angeles, his family said in a statement. His death was ruled suicide by gunshot, according to a coroner’s report obtained by People Magazine. He was 28 years old.
If you haven’t seen Knight’s stand-up, you need to go seek out his half-hour Comedy Central special from 2019 or his 15 minute set from Netflix’s 2018 series The Comedy Lineup. Although he might’ve become better known for his TV work, his stand-up is the key to understanding Knight’s talent and just how charismatic he is. After writing for Black-ish and Big Mouth (in which he voiced the character DeVon), Knight co-created, co-wrote, and co-starred in the Peacock sitcom Bust Down alongside fellow comics Sam Jay, Langston Kerman, and Chris Redd. Following a ragtag group of employees working at a casino in Gary, Indiana, Bust Down is one of the funniest shows of 2022, and Knight regularly steals it from his equally hilarious cast mates. He also wrote and performed in Pause with Sam Jay, Jay’s late-night show on HBO Max. He had just finished filming a role in Chelsea Peretti’s upcoming film First Time Female Director.
Numerous other comedians and performers shared memories of Knight on social media and expressed their grief. “Rest in peace Jak Knight. Hilarious comedian and a great guy. I can’t believe it,” tweeted Kumail Nanjiani. “I’m in shock. There was no one like Jak Knight. A singular talent, actually funny and a genuinely kind person, a rare combo. I just can’t believe this at all,” Joel Kim Booster shared in a tweet. Jak Knight was beloved by colleagues and fans alike, and his loss has been strongly felt by both communities.