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Ian Cognito
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    (November 22, 1958-April 11, 2019)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Paul Barbieri
    Recorded the album ‘Sex and Death’
    Wrote ‘A Comedian’s Tale’ (1995)
    Suffered a fatal heart attack during a gig at the Lone Wolf club in Bicester, England
    He was called ‘Britain’s most banned comic.’
    He was knocked out by fellow comic Ricky Grover after repeatedly goading him at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (1995).
    He said, ‘Booze is my problem. I just can’t seem to get the better of it.’
    After drinking binges, he would call up colleagues to apologize, figuring he had done something to offend them, even though he could not remember what it might have been.
    He threw a TV set out a hotel window when room service was too slow.
    As was the case with Dick Shawn and Tommy Cooper, the audience at his final show thought his collapse was part of his act. (Probably because he had earlier joked, ‘Imagine if I died in front of you lot here.’)
    He was named best stand-up comedian at the Time Out Comedy Awards (1999).
    He was compared to Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks.
    The Guardian wrote, ‘Without resorting to the racism and sexism of today's shock jock comics, Cognito manages to be far more outrageous.’
    His refusal to compromise his act kept him from getting TV gigs.
    He said, ‘There was always a reason for what I did, even if it was taking my knob out.’
    Club owner Andrew Bird said dying onstage was how he would have wanted to go – ‘Except he’d want more money and a bigger venue.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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