The Fall of a Comedian Giant – Gus Lynch


(Originally printed in The Playa Times, December 10, 2014.)

I know that my readers are used to me making fun of stupid questions that non-Playenses ask me. This week I am dedicating my column inches to the passing of my good friend, Gus Lynch, who died last week after a fall from the Coba pyramid.

Gus was one of the founding members of the Akumal Comedy Festival, along with Dan Schlissel of Stand Up! Records, and Marieke Brown, a pillar of the Akumal community. In the three years the festival has run, a playground for the children of Akumal Pueblo was built, money was raised to help children attend the Akumal Montessori school who otherwise could not have afforded to go, a new addition was built at the Tulum Red Cross building, and much needed money was raised for the Playa Red Cross.

Gus Lynch was an integral, irreplaceable part of all of those things.

Akumal was easily Gus’s second home. As the director of Comedy Playa, I was always humbled whenever he graced our stage. He was a consummate professional, always bringing his ‘A’ game, making hundreds of our fans laugh every time he performed. There will be no more laughter resulting from the mind of this great man. For that, I am saddened beyond measure and beyond consolation.

Gus was a fantastic father to his son Jones and his daughter Evie. He was a fantastic father. Whatever anyone can say about Gus’s accomplishments, he would be proudest of that fact – that he was a fantastic father who loved his kids more than any of the other things in his life. He was proud of all of their accomplishments. He was delighted by all of their idiosyncrasies. He was a fantastic father.

He loved his wife Amanda like a mad man. She was the sun that lit his sky and the moon that softened his nights. Theirs was a marriage that most people admire from afar with more than a little jealousy. Why we can’t all be like that? Because two undeniably unique people came together at the same time and they loved each other uniquely.

To Dan Schlissel and Stand Up! Records, he was the right arm that held the reigns in check while Dan steered the carriage. The speed with which Stand Up! Records propels itself in so many directions would dare the casual observer to imagine that a team of dozens were behind it. That two great men have forged such a living document of the future of comedy is a testament to the dedication Gus had for his friend and brother Dan. It hurts me more than I can adequately tell you what I am going through to imagine what Dan must be going through right now.

Gus’s family was his rock and his rubble. He loved them all dearly, he broke their hearts from time to time, as is the way with families who count as one of their members people who burn at a much higher temperature than most of us can fathom. His mother, Nancy, and his step-father, Bruce, will feel his absence forever. You cannot replace a comet that streaks so beautifully, so brilliantly, that tears you asunder and makes you so proud at the same time.

His friends from all over the world are still in shock that he’s gone. Rightly so – he was meant to be the commentator forever. He was meant to be the quarterback for all remaining plays. A rudderless ship, we drift without him.

I’ve run out of space for this article. I’ve so many more words I want to say. I wish I had the power with my words to break time apart, to have one more night of madness with my great friend, with my brother. I wish I had one more bear hug, one more jibe at my awkwardness, one more cigarette, one more beer, one more kind word about my comedy, one more night, one more day, one more moment, all lost forever, all lost to eternity where Gus now rests, laughing down on us all until we hopefully get to be with him again.

Goodbye, Gus. Akumal will never been the same without you. Playa will never be the same without you. The world is a sadder place without you and the laughter has been diminished in a way that will never be replaced.

Smash some stars above for us, would you?

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