The world of comedy, and the world of entertainment in general, has lost a truly unique voice. Comedian, actor, writer, thinker, and scholar Taylor Negron passed away Saturday after a long battle with cancer at the all-too-young age of 57. He was surrounded by family and friends at his passing. Negron leaves behind a nearly-40 year career, having done stand-up, written plays, been a regular on television shows, and starred in memorable roles in movies, particularly in the ’80s and early-’90s, including being Spicoli’s pizza deliverer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the put-upon PR assistant in Angels in the Outfield, and as a really grotty villain in The Last Boy Scout. Like everything he did, Negron’s screen credits are eclectic.
One of his standout roles was as a stand-up comedian (which he was) opposite Tom Hanks in the 1988 film Punchline in which he got to do some of his trademark edgy comedy.
He had an ease on stage that can’t be taught, and the ability to captivate an audience simply by being himself, which was a pretty weird thing to be, he’d be the first to say.
Negron also became an outspoken columnist, writing stories and opinion pieces for places like Huffington Post. He gave speeches and TEDTalks. Toward the end of his life, he began musing on the nature of being alive and, in this TEDx clip from 2013, we see that he was many things, and was often labeled “alternative,” but there’s no alternative to being what he was. He was a true original and the comedy world, and the world at large, is a bit less informed now that he’s left it.