The world of comedy is mourning one of its brightest stars.
The star’s family confirmed that he died Thursday night in Los Angeles. There are no public details yet about what cut his young life shockingly short.
“Knight’s loved ones ask that their privacy please be respected during this extremely difficult time,” said a representative from his agency.
Star On The Rise
Knight was best known for starring beside fellow writers and co-creators of Bust Down, Chris Redd, Langston Kerman, and Sam Jay. The series follows a group of friends and co-workers at dead-end jobs in a Gary, Indiana casino. He played a stockroom worker also named “Jak.”
From the first episode, which Knight wrote and executive produced, fans fell in love with his scene-stealing shenanigans. The keep-it-real and raunchy series showcased his impeccable timing, brilliant writing, and slapstick physical comedy.
The Seattle native most recently appeared in Chelsea Peretti’s upcoming first feature film as a director, First Time Female Director.
Before Bust Down
What do Black-ish, Big Mouth and Pause With Sam Jay have in common? Jak Knight’s incomparable talent and comedic genius. In 2015, a smoking session with the Lucas Brothers turned into his big break into Hollywood. They hired him as a writer on their Adult Swim show Lucas Bros. Moving Company.
Knight joined Big Mouth as both the voice of DeVon and a writer in 2017. In a 2018 interview, Knight talked to Respect about working and writing alongside dozens of the biggest names in comedy on the Netflix animated series.
“Being a writer is amazing and just being in the room with some of the most brilliant people alive, and I get to sit across the table with people like Jordan Peele and Maya Rudolph,” he shared. “It’s surreal but it’s a lot of work, work.”
He went on to work on Black-ish as a writer and executive story editor in 2019. Last year, he wrote for all ten episodes of Bill Burr’s dark comedy anthology, Immoral Compass. Knight flexed his dynamic comedy skills on both sides of the camera on HBO’s Pause With Sam Jay as an actor, writer, and co-executive producer.
Stand-Up Legend In The Making
Comedy Central named Knight a Face To Watch in 2014. The following year he was named a New Face at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.
He toured the world, opening for comedians like Dave Chappelle, Joel McHale, Eric Andre, and Aziz Ansari. In 2018, his half-hour comedy special appeared on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup.
Although Knight is gone far too soon, the rising star has already made his mark on comedy. In addition to those who loved Knight’s string of hilarious hit shows, some of Jak’s biggest fans were his peers. Several commented on his unique talent and incredible sense of humor, calling him this generation’s Martin Lawrence or Dave Chappelle.
“We are devastated by the passing of Jak Knight,” said a statement from Knight’s Bust Down family, Peacock, and Universal Television. “He was a brilliant comedian, visionary and artist and we were all lucky to experience his greatness. Our hearts are with Jak’s family, friends and community during this heartbreaking time.”
Check out the outpouring of love, fond memories and clips of Jak Knight’s brilliant comedy below.
Our condolences go out to Jak Knight’s family and loved ones.