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Inside the comic book memorial for Fuquan Johnson, Enrico Colangeli

In a blur of laughter and tears, a compact crowd gathered at the HaHa Comedy Club in North Hollywood to pay their respects to beloved LA comedians Fuquan Johnson, 43, and Enrico Colangeli, 48, who died during the Labor Day weekend with their friend Natalie. Williamson, 33 years old. Sitting at tables littered with soft drinks and crumpled handkerchiefs Wednesday night, friends and family shared stories, old voice memo recordings, forgotten images and other mementos of the two funny ones. But even in the midst of the sadness, unintentional comic relief surfaced in a way that looked like a sketch straight out of “SNL.”

After several comics took to the stage to lovingly roast their late friends, host and comedian Jack Assadourian Jr. prepared to show a tribute video to the two comics better known as Fu and Rico – but he could not install the large television on the wall of the club to work.

The crowd at the comedians Fuquan Johnson and Enrico Colangeli memorial rally at the HaHa Comedy Club in North Hollywood on September 15.

(Jack Assadourian Jr.)

“Can I ask a technician to help me here?” The comedian known as Jack Jr. blurted out while feverishly switching the flat screen off and on. Embarrassing seconds of silence sparked nervous growls from the crowd as several comics showed up to try and save the day. They pulled out their phone flashlights and inspected the buttons on the side of the TV as the crowd laughed and shouted out troubleshooting instructions at them as if they were competing on “The Price is Right”.

Eventually the television decided to cooperate and cheers erupted from the crowd as footage and footage of Johnson and Colangeli flooded the screen supported by the audio system by P. Diddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You”. and Faith Evans. Even in death, Boston-raised New Jersey-raised Colangeli and Johnson made the LA crowd and the club who loved them laugh last.

“I respected these guys so much,” Jack Jr. told the crowd. “They left their homes in Boston and New Jersey to pursue their dreams and had no family here. … They made a family. We are here right now.

Both comics and Williamson died at Venice Beach house after suspect overdose, apparently on cocaine containing fentanyl. A fourth person at the rally, actress and model Kate Quigley, 39, was taken to hospital and later recovered.

Those who knew Johnson and Colangeli best recounted their funniest memories and rawest moments with the comics, holding back tears while recounting drunken nights in taxis or clubs after hours of struggling to be successful in the comics. comedy. They remembered their daily shenanigans – crashing into their friends’ couches, hiking or training with them, or just being there to pick up the phone when called. No matter how those in the crowd knew them, everyone in the crowd seemed to have a story.

“I love to see that Fu was loved by people I don’t know,” said writer and producer Craig Wayans, one of the many famous comedy family members who spoke about Johnson, including l artist Cara Mia Wayans and actor Damon Wayans Jr. “I’m sure some of you are all here to see people like ‘who are they?’ You were probably all in Fu’s phone for the most part. And while he was hanging out with us, he was texting you.

Inside the comic book memorial for Fuquan Johnson, Enrico Colangeli

Comedian Jack Jr. poses with a photo of Fuquan “Fu” Johnson and Enrico “Rico” Colangeli at the Comics Memorial Show at the HaHa Comedy Club on September 15th.

(Courtesy of Jack Assadourian Jr.)

Many comedians and friends who spoke met Johnson and Colangeli via the HaHa, as employees or regulars on stage. Despite some comics’ veteran status as touring headliners in front of crowds across the country, emotion got the better of them when they choked on telling jokes about their friends to one. supportive audience who encouraged them.

“It’s our family. It’s a place that took me to when I loved in LA. They took Rico and Fu; they were brothers, ”said comedian Amir K. during his filming. “When I went on tour, every time I came back, I always came to this place.”

For friends, family and veterans of the LA comedy scene, Johnson and Colangeli’s death resonated strongly. For the HaHa, who announced that they will host a show each year on September 15 in memory of the two comics, the laughs and legacy left by Johnson and Colangel will not be forgotten.

“Sometimes there is so much energy in people that when they leave it changes the universe,” comedian Agostino Zoida said during one of the last comedy sets of the night. “They both had so much energy that we all felt the impact. You cannot kill someone who has so much life and who also has so much life. They’re not dead, they’re alive in all of us and they’re alive in this room right now and they’re going to live forever.