Dan Ronan was a Chicago-based comedian who passed away on June 6, 2014, at the tragically young age of 24. He was a writer and performer for The Late Live Show and a regular at The Lincoln Lodge and other spots around the Chicago comedy scene. He was known for his unique and hilarious style of comedy, which often involved absurd characters, dark humor, and self-deprecation. He was also a passionate and dedicated comic who started doing comedy at 15 and never stopped pursuing his dream.
Early Life and Career
Dan Ronan was born on October 10, 1989, in Naperville, Illinois. He grew up in a supportive and loving family, with his parents, John and Mary, and his siblings, Patrick and Katie. He attended Naperville North High School, where he was involved in theater and improv. He discovered his love for stand-up comedy when he watched a DVD of Mitch Hedberg’s performance. He decided to try it himself and performed at an open mic at the age of 15. He was hooked ever since.
He moved to Chicago after graduating from high school and immersed himself in the local comedy scene. He performed at various venues, such as The Lincoln Lodge, The Laugh Factory, Zanies, and The Annoyance Theater. He also became a writer and performer for The Late Live Show, a popular live comedy show that parodied late-night talk shows. He created some of the most memorable sketches and characters for the show, such as Skunky Funkybuns, the demented creator of a comic strip; Dr. Phil McGraw’s son, who had a troubled relationship with his father; and a parody of Kanye West’s rants.
He also participated in several comedy festivals, such as the Just For Laughs Festival in Chicago, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, and the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta. He was featured on Comedy Central’s website as one of the “Comics to Watch” in 2012. He was praised by critics and peers alike for his originality, creativity, and wit.
Struggle with Addiction and Death
Despite his success and talent, Dan Ronan struggled with substance addiction for most of his adult life. He started using drugs and alcohol when he was 16 and developed a dependency on them. He tried to quit several times but always relapsed. He moved to Los Angeles briefly in 2013 to pursue more opportunities in comedy but found it hard to cope with the pressure and competition. He returned to Chicago in early 2014 to be closer to his family and friends.
He continued to perform comedy until his last days but also battled with depression and anxiety. On June 6, 2014, he died of an accidental drug overdose at his apartment in Chicago. He was found by his roommate, who called 911 but it was too late to save him. His death shocked and saddened the entire comedy community, who mourned the loss of a brilliant and beloved comedian.
Legacy and Influence
Dan Ronan left behind a legacy of laughter and inspiration for many comedians and fans. His jokes and sketches are still available online for people to enjoy and appreciate. His family and friends have also organized several events and fundraisers in his honor, such as the Dan Ronan Memorial Show at The Lincoln Lodge, the Dan Ronan Memorial Scholarship Fund at Naperville North High School, and the Dan Ronan Memorial Fund at The Second City Training Center.
He is remembered as a kind, generous, funny, and talented person who made everyone around him happy. He is also remembered as a courageous comic who never gave up on his dream despite his challenges. He influenced many comedians with his style and voice, such as Cameron Esposito, Joe McAdam, Adam Burke, Drew Michael, Megan Gailey, Marty DeRosa, Sean Flannery, Mike Lebovitz, Ricky Gonzalez, Danny Kallas, Kenny DeForest, Clark Jones, Will Miles, Kristen Toomey, Liza Treyger, Mike Stanley, Junior Stopka, CJ Sullivan, Nick Vatterott, James Fritz, Mike Sheehan, and many more.
Dan Ronan comedy cause of death was a tragedy that took away a bright star from the comedy world. However, his spirit lives on through his work and his impact on others. He will always be missed and loved by those who knew him.