I was completely in love with Angelo Bowers. Then again, I think we all were. When I started out, we didn't run in the same circles, so I'd only catch him randomly here and there, usually because of Josh Adam Meyers who has been really kind and friendly to me from the start. And I was always so happy to see him. Not only because I knew he'd be the funniest person on the lineup and the nicest, but probably because he felt like a scarce resource. It was like seeing a shooting star or finding a four leaf clover. Seeing Angelo Bowers made it a special day.
And one of those special days was Rell Battle's birthday roast. Angelo was just as funny and as sweet as usual and I asked if I could book him on a show I had coming up. After that, we started hanging out a lot at shows and mics and sending silly texts to each other all day and night - he'd send absurd random pictures or the sweetest, most encouraging things. I started teasing him about how Josh, Matty Goldberg and Jon Tomashefsky would fight over him like jealous girlfriends. Like Matty said in his amazing rememberance piece, " WE WERE FIGHTING FOR WHERE ANGELO WOULD COUCH SURF. How amazing must a person be for that to happen?" And then I found myself doing it, too. Angelo engendered that in people. He was so kind and so sweet and so goddamned amazing, you just wanted to be around him all the time. Literally all the time. And you knew everyone else felt the same way and that everyone should get to have Angelo in their lives, but you still didn't want to share.
He was so humble about his talent and so personally self-deprecating, it was impossible not to love him. Sometimes I worried that he honestly didn't understand that he's one of the funniest people ever or that he was completely adored by so many people. When he came down for his first visit after he had his tumor removed, we went to the Red Rock open mic on that Monday and he told me he was nervous because he felt so rusty. He had nothing to be nervous about, he was funnier than everyone else in the room combined and of course he crushed for 5 solid minutes, every single joke just perfect. Angelo wrote side-splitting jokes while wandering around the cardiac ward. How is that possible? On Sunday at a show we did at Bar Pico, he told me he was nervous again. Again, he crushed. His first joke got the hardest laugh of the night and then the audience was happy to go wherever he wanted. When he got offstage, I told him "Sometimes you're so funny, it makes me angry."
On Monday, we both went up at the Store and then both went to Red Rock for the open mic. I told him I was glad we'd had the show together the night before because I knew he'd be surrounded by a sea of admirers at both places that I'd have to fight through to even say hi. His response was typically Angelo, "no way, you're the one that everybody loves." Josh got back from the airport and came straight to Red Rock and I knew that Girlfriend #1 (as I jokingly call him) would get priority. Josh's set covered a lot of the negative things that were going on in his life and ended with "But it doesn't matter, I don't need anyone as long as I have Angelo."
They were leaving and Angelo asked if I'd be at the Improv mic the next day, I told him I had a meeting that conflicted so he said he'd text me and we'd figure out what spots to hit later on. I'm pretty sure the last thing I said to him as they left was "I love you" either that or "see you tomorrow" but let's go with "I love you." 20 minutes later, I texted him "I miss you already." I thought it was weird that an hour, then 2, then more passed without a response, but I figured he and Jamo were just having some intense catch up time and he didn't want to be rude and look at his phone. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
This is horrible and unfair and shows that the universe is cruel and random. We've all lost someone unique and precious, who just made the comedy scene and the world a little better. So, hey guys, we've got to pick up the slack. Now that we don't have Angelo to do it for us, just be a little more awesome every day. Be nicer to your friends, be a little more humble, text someone this picture for no good reason.