Comedian Kevin Barnett, 32, dies in Mexico

Photo of Kevi Barnett.
Courtesy of

Kevin Barnett, a stand-up comic, producing and writing Fox’s comedy series “Rel,” a young star who prided himself on providing laughter and entertainment to his viewers, died suddenly on Tuesday during a vacation trip to Tijuana, Mexico. He was 32.

It was announced on Tuesday afternoon through The Stand comedy club. The cause of death was unknown at the time. Days later an autopsy revealed that the suffered “non traumatic hemorrhage caused by pancreatitis,” the Forensic Medical Service of Tijuana said in a statement released by E! News.

Barnett was born in Miami 1986. He is a graduate of Dreyfood School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and also had been a student at  Florida State University. He was a New York City-based comedian.

Though he died young and full of potential, his list of work in the entertainment industry was quite impressive. His earliest work was in 2008, when he was credited for writing two episodes in the comedy series “Unhitched.” He appeared regularly on the MTV2 series “Guy Code,” and was a co-host on the podcast show “The Roundtable of the Gentlemen.”

He’s performed stand-up comedy acts on stages such as “The Eric Andre Show.”

Barnett’s best work is when he co-created the Fox sitcom “Rel” in 2018, along with Lil Rel Howery. The first season of the show earned a following of almost 2 million viewers. The series is loosely about Howery’s life, taking place in Chicago, as he tries to rebuild himself after his ex-wife cheated on him. The sitcom has yet to be renewed nor canceled on Fox.

A statement released through Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment, through E! News said, “He was an incredibly funny, wildly talented man who had so much more to do and so many more stories to tell. We send our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time.”

Howery, the “Get Out” actor, was lost for words after learning about Barnett’s death.

“I’m truly heartbroken by this and just really hurt as the hours pass,” Howery said in an Instagram post. “I don’t know what else to say this is crazy to me.”

In some of his final social media posts, he posted a picture of him wearing a poncho sweater in Mexico on Instagram. He also posted a link to a GoFundMe page on his Facebook for comedian Janson Saenz, who is now paralyzed due to an incident falling through the roof of his apartment building.

Barnett’s Instagram was very simple: “Let go and let God.”