Last week, the Twin Cities comedy community lost one of its most talented up-and-coming performers when Gus Lynch passed away while on vacation with his family in Mexico. Officially, his cause of death was cardiac arrest that took place following injuries sustained while walking among ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula.
However, as his friend and fellow performer Courtney McClean said in a recent blog post dedicated to Lynch, he would probably prefer that it was stated a little more bluntly:
He fell off a fucking pyramid. In Mexico.
From helping to save Comedy Corner Underground from extinction to being crowned the Best Comedian Ever this past fall, Lynch has a tremendous resume that has cemented his legacy as one of the brighter stars in our ever-growing comedy scene.
As hilarious and talented as he was on stage, Lynch also made a huge impact on his fellow comedians who have shown an outpouring of love for him over the past several days.
In honor of his memory, we reached out to some of the comedians whose lives he touched, and asked for their favorite Gus Lynch stories.
Once at TCF stadium during a night game, two guys were chesting up to “fight” over a snowball issue, and I alerted Gus that these fellas might get into it. He excitedly smiled, stood up, and spotted the two gentlemen. In an instant, acting chops kicked in, his face became mean and he bellowed at them, “JUST KISS AND GET IT OVER WITH!”
Everyone, including the two dudes, snapped their heads to see who dared interrupt, already poised with adrenaline, only to look into the eyes of what would happen if they chose to continue, as Gus laser stares them both down while adjusting his collar most cock assuredly. Immediately they both backed down and were also confused as to whether to even fight each other, seeing as how they were completely emasculated in front of everyone, including each other. The giant smile then returned to my pal’s face, because hey, he’s just having some fun.
“YEAAHHHH…KISS OR PUNCH!!!” No fight was fought, and Gus later told the roving vendor that his hot chocolate was shit, which it was.
I was one of the lucky ones to be close to such a huge and rad and awesome dude, and I do feel honored, and I’ll always miss you, my good and true friend.
I was closing out the Funniest Person With A Day Job contest a couple years ago, and was trying to get a bottle of water before my set. The bar staff was busy so I was told to track down a waitress to put in my order. I was about to go on stage and didn’t have time but really wanted water. Gus asked me what the problem was and he took action. He shouted to the bartender, “Hey, this woman is the headliner of the night’s show! Can somebody please get the HEADLINER a bottle of water?” I got my water in record time. I don’t know if I’ll ever have Gus’s confidence, but I will always admire it.
Gus Lynch was an extremely dynamic guy. When he showed up, things were instantly more fun. I’m so happy that I got to do so many shows with him. We did tons of open mics and local shows, plus I think we went on the road together five times.
I would always laugh so hard with him. One time we were doing shows in Bemidji, and on the drive up, he told me that he always gets Bemidji and Brainerd mixed up. After the show, we were sitting in the hotel lobby. Somehow through our conversation we started pretending that he was the mayor of Bemidji in a press conference. The mayor’s obvious problem, of course, was that he could never remember what city his was in. Was it Brainerd? Or was it Bemidji? Adding to the mayor’s stress was that the only question people kept asking was, “MAYOR! MAYOR! Where are you right now?” Good thing he had me. We somehow established that I was his right hand man and press secretary. So it would go like this:
(Gus looks out on the reporters. Points at one of them.)
(We’d pretend to listen to the question. He’d look at me confused. I’d then lean forward.)
GUS: Next question, please.
(Pretend to listen to the next question. The mayor again looks at me not knowing what to say. I lean in.)
ME: Bemidji. The mayor is currently in Bemidji.
Again and again we did this just howling. We were laughing so much that the hotel manager had to come over and tell us to keep it down or go to our rooms.
Wow. I guess I didn’t know it then, but I really, REALLY loved the guy a lot and I’m so sad he’s gone. Bye Gus. It was an honor, buddy.
One of my favorite memories of Gus Lynch was when he taught me a lesson at the House Of Comedy, the weekend after the 2013 Akumal Comedy Festival. I had been to Akumal, and each year all the performers and crew get a beautifully designed coin as a memento of the festival. It’s based on an old armed forces thing, I guess, wherein if one finds themselves in a bar, they take out their coin and tap it on the bar. If someone doesn’t have their coin, they pay for the round. If everyone has their coin, the person that initiated the coin-tapping buys the round.
Anyway, Gus asked me if I had my coin at this show where one comic from Akumal, Jimmy Schubert, was headlining, and another comic from Akumal, Jeff Pfoser, was hosting (or was Gus hosting? I don’t remember). I didn’t have my coin, and Gus looked at me sideways like, “Oh you’re going to regret that.” And the sonofabitch coin-checked me an hour later at the bar, with these other comics who all had their coins, and I had to pay for the round. The lesson is: always carry your coin with you. It’s a metaphor for how Gus Lynch was a great guide in showing me how to step up my game. I am going to miss him terribly.
This is Gus and I at Vikings versus Packers game. He had a great moment shortly after this photo. Some loud broads were trying to get us to stand and cheer like they were. They were tapping us on the shoulders and heads and saying “C’mon you guys, let me hear you!” Gus turned and surprised them with his indignant rage. “DON’T TELL ME HOW TO CHEER!!! I’VE BEEN A SEASON TICKET HOLDER SINCE 1996, I THINK I KNOW HOW TO CHEER!” They were pretty enough that they had no tools to deal with the situation. They just glared at him like he was the father of modern hemorrhoids and sat down accordingly. He gave me the wink as we turned back to the field…he was a real dick like that. I was crazy with jealousy. That’s as close to a big brother as I’ll get…
Lynch was a member of the local comedy team, The Turkeys, where he showed off some of his incredible acting chops on top of his comedy skill. The Turkeys have created a special dedication page for Gus, with videos, stories and more that can be viewed here.