‘Last Comic Standing’ Star and ‘Shameless’ Actor Ricarlo Flanagan Dies at 40

Ricarlo Flanagan
Laugh Factory YouTube

Comedian and actor Ricarlo Flanagan, who was a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing, has passed away following COVID complications. He was 40.

A representative of Flanagan confirmed the death to Variety, saying, “Sadly this pandemic has taken the life of an extremely talented performer and even nicer human being. Ricarlo will be greatly missed.”

Earlier this month, Flanagan revealed on Twitter that he had contracted COVID-19, writing, “This covid is no joke. I don’t wish this on anybody.” In response to someone mentioning how NBA star Kyrie Irving said to “do your own research” into the vaccine, Flanagan said, “Yeah tell Kyrie to take some of this chest pain and see how he feels.”

Following the passing, a GoFundMe campaign was created to help support Flanagan’s family. “The news of a loved one’s death is never something easy to hear, let alone if you are far away from the individual,” reads the GoFundMe post. “Our dear friend has suddenly passed away and sadly was far from his family.”

The post continues: “Ricarlo Flanagan was a loving son, grandson, cousin, nephew and friend with many amazing talents. He brought laughter to every room he walked in. We would like to get him home to his family in Cleveland, Ohio, so his family can put him to rest. We ask that you please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Flanagan released his first comedy album, Man Law, in 2013 and went on to compete on the ninth season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2015, where he made the semi-finals. He also had several acting roles, appearing in a recurring role in Showtime’s Shameless and the Disney+ series Walk the Prank. He was set to make his movie debut in Aubrey Plaza‘s upcoming feature Emily the Criminal.

In addition to his acting and comedy career, Flanagan was also a rapper under the name of Father Flanagan. His fourth album, Both Sides of the Brain, was scheduled for release this week.

“I just heard that Ricarlo Flanagan has passed. I don’t know details yet. Other than he was one of the funniest, kindest people I knew in this business,” tweeted comedian Steve Hofstetter. “I worked with him on so many things, hung with him so many times, and I will miss him so much. Just f***ing wrecked right now.”

“My heart is broken. I’ve known @FatherFlanagn for 10 years, from Ohio, he moved to LA after I did and was well on his way. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met and incredibly talented. I wish I could call you,” wrote comedian Matt Rife.

“I just realized I haven’t gone to sleep since I found out Ricarlo Flanagan died,” said comedian and writer Ed Greer. “His family has a Go Fund Me for final expenses. He was truly kind, & smart. A talented musician, actor, & comedian. A supernova sized bright spot is gone.”

Check out more tributes to Flanagan below.