December 8, 1953 – April 10, 1992
“It occurred to me that there wouldn’t be world hunger, if you peoplewould MOVE WHERE THE FOOD IS!!!”
Sam Kinison was one loud, funny man. Sure, at timeshe offended me, but you know what I did? I ignored it, becausemostly he made me laugh. He was abrasive for sure, but damn funny.
Thanks to my pals at Celebrity Collectables for getting the autopsy report and death certificate tous.
On April 10, 1992, Sam was on his way to Laughlin,Nevada, to perform at a sold out concert. He had been married just theweek before to a 20 year old woman called Malika. They honeymooned inHawaii. It was a Friday night when Sam was to perform in Laughlin, andthey drove there from Los Angeles. They traveled Easton the 40
until they got to the 95,
when the route went North.
Thereare conflicting reports as to where exactly the accident happened. Onereport says 3 miles north of theinterchange,
another says 4.
Sam was sober. He hadn’t had a drink ordone drugs in months, and it was a big issue for him. It was about 8:30p.m.when they were on their way to the show, and apparently Sam saw the pickuptruck coming from the other direction.
Sam had slowed his car to15 mph, at the time it hit his Trans Amhead on.
Two kids were in the pickup, which was littered with beer cans,and apparently after hitting Sam, the driver remarked, “God! Look atmy truck!”
Sam wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and he hit thewindshield with his head. Apasserby called for emergency services, and tried giving Sam CPR, with nosuccess.
Immediately after the crash, witnesses say thatSam looked normal enough and he would pull through. He said, “Idon’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” Then Sam washeard having some sort of conversation… “But why? ‘Okay, okay,okay.” The last okay was apparently said very softly and comfortably,like he was talking to someone he loved.
He was taken to the NeedlesDesert Community Hospital,
to the emergencyroom,
and received dead on arrival.
Cause of death – Multiple traumaticinjuries.
He was 38 years old.
Findadeath.com friend WaltFritsch sends us this: About 10 days after the accident, a friend and Iwent to visit my dad who lived in Lake Havasu City Az. On our way back throughNeedles, being that we were both big fans of Sam, we decided to find theaccident site. I had read in the paper where the general location was, soI felt pretty confident I could find it. I felt this way because I hadbeen a cop in So Cal. for a few years, and had investigated hundreds ofaccidents, many of them fatal. One of the things that you do when youinvestigate a serious crash, and always in a fatality, is to mark the pavementwith spray paint at points of impact, points of rest, and start and end pointsof skids. This helps to show them better in contrast with the road whenyou photograph the accident scene. Sure enough, after about 3 to 4 miles,when we came to a part of the highway that makes a slight climbing turn to theleft; I slowed down to look at the pavement and found exactly what I was lookingfor: The highway was marked with paint by the investigating officers. Westopped, got, out and looked around. In the bushes were a few flattenedcans of Bud-Light which looked like they hadn’t been there longer than a fewweeks, and some small white parts from the front end of the trans am. These somehow found their way into my car, and looking at them now, I am surethat I have a piece of the driver’s side front amber clearance light (you cansee the intact one on the passenger side in the pic you have on your web site)and some pieces of the front bumper (one of them has a GM part number on it). It was kind of a sad moment; my friend Brian and I had been fans of Sam formany years; we were at a concert of his at the Universal Amphitheatre in Dec of89 right after he appeared on ‘Married with Children’. The whole MWC castwas at the concert and he introduced them. Also, a bunch of his rockand roll buds showed up and they jammed for almost an hour with him after theshow as an encore. It was a damn shame he died before his time.
Great Story, Walt.
There was a memorial service, and attendeesincluded Richard Lewis, Dan Aykroyd, Richard Belzer and RobinWilliams.
Findadeath.com friend Beth sends us this:
I was reading a book called”I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics,” andthere was a little anecdote (told by Dante the Comedian) about Sam Kinison’sfuneral that I thought you may be interested in. I love that there was an emceeat a funeral…
“Sam Kinson was a big influence on me. He was really the first comedian toachieve rock-star status. So when I got to get to know him at The Comedy Storein the early 90s, I felt very lucky. Within a year of getting to know eachother, Sam died. When Carl Labove (Sam’s best friend) called The Comedy Store,just hours after Sam had died in the car accident, I was the guy who answeredthe phone. It was terrible. That week I went with my girlfriend, now my wife,Margo, to Forest Lawn in Burbank, California, for Sam’s funeral. The chapelwas packed wall-to-wall with comedians and celebrities. Richard Belzer emceedthe ceremony. Many of Kinson’s friends and family spoke. Pauly Shore talkedabout Sam’s being like a brother to him and how Sam used to baby-sit him. WhenCarl Labove was asked to speak, the place went silent. We all knew Carl had beenwith Sam when he died. Carl spoke for a while and then began to cry, so upset hecouldn’t speak. Richard Belzer finally came up to the podium to help Carldown. The whole place was a mess, everyone sobbing. Then, just as Carl wasalmost back to his seat, he broke free from Richard and ran back to themicrophone. He’d stopped crying, and with a big smile on his face he said,”By the way, I’ll be at Igby’s all week! Two shows Friday, threeSaturday.” It was hilarious, and a nice ending to Sam’s funeral.”
UPDATE ON SAM’S WIFE:
Findadeath.com friend EllenFagan knows Sam’s widow Malika, and says she is fine, and has remarried and goton with her life. She says: Sure, go ahead & run thephotograph enclosed, strictly in the interests of more thorough journalism, no? She’ll be cool withthat.
Re “That Night”: She hasn’t talked about it in a while…I think it was somethinglike 13-14 years ago & although it was a kind of defining moment in her life, she’s moved past it. She holds amazingly little anger (that I can see) from past events, she sees them as growing experiences that had to happen.
In fact, M & I just had lunch today! We went to the Bus Stop Cafe, each of us ordered a different type of (forgive the embarrassing vaguely yuppie factor) chicken wrap, & swapped halves with the other. Then we went grocery shopping. No photographic record of this event, though…
Sam used to perform at the old Ciro’s nightclub, now called The Comedy Store on Sunset.
It’s owned by Mitzi Shore, Paulie’s mom. According toa two faced cow I know, Sam’s show was constantly troubled by the ghosts thatapparently objected to Sam’s loud performances.
For more information about Sam, check out thisplace.