What began as simply an ambitious comedy project has taken on new meaning with the recent loss of Sussex native and long-time supporter of NB comedy, Lloyd Ravn. Every Comedian In New Brunswick, billed as ‘The Biggest Comedy Show Ever’ and organized by James Mullinger, was originally intended to be a showcase event for 44 comedians from around the province. Sadly, there is now one less name on that ticket and a huge hole left by the loss of an important member of the community.
Ravn was an integral member of his local community and, according to many, one of the founders of stand-up comedy in New Brunswick, he passed away unexpectedly on May 12th, 2016 at the age of 43.
“Lloyd Ravn was supposed to perform in this show, which would have been wonderfully fitting,” Mullinger says. “When he started putting on comedy shows in New Brunswick six years ago there was less than five comedians in the whole province. Now there are more than fifty…the growth is immense and Lloyd started it all”. James credits Lloyd with convincing him it would be possible to make a living doing comedy in the Maritimes. He says, “In short, I would never have moved here and improved my life and become happy were it not for Lloyd. I owe him my life”.
“Lloyd was genuinely, truly one of the greatest humans who ever lived: he raised hundreds of thousands for various charities, was there for everyone (ask any comedian with depression and they will tell you that Lloyd was there for them), was the most amazing father and husband. Nothing will be the same without Lloyd. ”
The show, featuring virtually every comedian in New Brunswick, will be a tribute to Ravn, with all proceeds going to charities that Lloyd worked with. Organizers intend for the event to become a yearly benefit concert . The idea was conceived by James Mullinger, Shane Ogden and Neal Mundle, who first performed with Ravn six years ago in Sussex. Mullinger says those shows were the beginning of a brotherhood between the four men.
“Six years ago I was looking to put on a comedy show in New Brunswick. I was told by two Canadian comedian friends in London (Wade McElwain and Pete Johansson) that Lloyd Ravn was the man to speak to. They also mentioned Shane Ogden and Neal Mundle. These guys were – at the time – the only working comics in New Brunswick that I know of. In the summer of 2010 we did two sold out shows in Sussex. It was the beginning of my love affair with comedy in this province and the beginning of a brotherhood between the four comedians. Lloyd was always there for us. Cheering us up when we were having dark days. Advising us, coaching us. He was the first person in the world that I told of my plan to move here and he schooled me on every facet of the business of comedy in Canada. All of the things that are happening here now, would not have happened without Lloyd. He was doing it before all of us. If you have enjoyed a comedy show in New Brunswick or enjoy performing stand up comedy here, it is thanks to Lloyd. More importantly than this though, he was a husband and a father. Doting doesn’t cover the amazing things Lloyd did for his family. From driving to Ottawa to see Justin Trudeau being sworn in, to creating superlative Halloween costumes for his son’s wheelchair and raising thousands for local charities, Lloyd was one of the best human beings to ever walk the planet.”
“I’ll be totally honest, losing him is one of the worst things that has ever happened to me and many more people. He was always there for the rest of us comedians, helping us with our dark days, our insecurities, our failings as people. And all the time he was battling something terrible inside. I will never understand this. The only thing I am thankful for right now is that he knew how much we loved him. Because we told him all the time. In fact, one of my last ever messages to him read: “Thank you. I love you.” He replied with a message of encouragement and hope (someone had been verbally attacking me and he was consoling me as he always did) which was then followed by a PS: “I love you too.” There is no good in a situation like this, but I thank God that one of the last things I ever told him was that I loved him. And he knew I meant it.”
All proceeds from the show will go to charities Ravn had worked with.