Ian Cognito died doing what he loved best — performing stand-up comedy. The veteran British comedian took his last breath onstage on Thursday, April 11.
The 60-year-old comic was one of the performers for the sold-out Lone Wolf Comedy Club show at the Atic in the English town of Bicester, Oxfordshire. About halfway through his set, Cognito sat down on a stool and breathed heavily for about five minutes.
According to the BBC, the audience thought that this was some prepared bit that was part of his show and were laughing as he was silently suffering. Andrew Bird, who ran the event, finally went to check on Cognito.
"Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm, I was expecting him to say, 'Boo,'" said Bird.
After realizing that something was seriously wrong with the comic, two off-duty nurses and a police officer, who were in the audience, started to perform CPR on Cognito, and an ambulance was called to the club.
Sadly, Cognito was pronounced dead at the scene. The Times reported that it is believed that he suffered a heart attack.
Bird told the BBC that Cognito said he wasn't feeling well before he went onstage, but still wanted to perform for everyone that had already paid for tickets.