At about 6:45 a.m. this morning (Thursday, February 27, 2014), I was just getting done recording news segments for a radio station when I decided to check Twitter before going back to sleep for a little bit. I didn’t need to be at work until 9 a.m., so I had some time. That trip into Twitter was a shocking one, as posts from The Bob & Tom Show and other comedians I follow were posting about the death of Tim Wilson, a comedian from Columbus, Georgia. He was 52 and died, it seems, of a heart attack.
Throughout the day, I saw several tweets and Facebook posts from comedians I greatly admire. Roy Wood Jr. put up an excellent post remembering times he worked with Wilson. Drew Hastings posted photos from the last Bob & Tom Comedy Tour show he did with Wilson, Chick McGee and Henry Phillips. Nick Griffin, who I had a great chance to interview when he was in Shreveport several years ago, spoke at length on the Bob & Tom Show about Wilson. Ron White, Larry the Cable Guy, Lewis Black, and other stellar comics all posted their remembrances of Wilson’s life.
As a fan of comedy, I didn’t have the luxury of knowing Wilson personally. I would have loved to meet him, but that will sadly not happen now. I own four of his albums, listen to his stuff all the time, and know several of his songs by heart. His were some of the first comedy albums I owned, along with Lewis Black and George Carlin. I joke with my wife because Wilson’s style of talking about nearly any subject was identical to her father’s. An intelligent, Southern style of lecturing you conversationally. As Griffin said on the Bob & Tom Show, if you were to ask Wilson the time, he’d explain for three hours how a watch worked. And, I would wager, it’d be the funniest damn lesson you would have ever gotten.
The comics who spoke of him spoke highly of him as a person and a comic. I only knew of him as a comic, but he was a genius in the art of stand-up and music. I have yet to find any clip on YouTube of him getting less than about 90% crowd reaction to his jokes. He kills on stage and can’t be seen floundering. There might have been rough shows here and there, but they are evidently so rare you can’t find proof those nights exist.
One of my absolute favorite bits (Wood linked to it in his Facebook post and even WSB Radio in Atlanta played a clip from it in their news about his death) of Wilson’s is his explanation of Southern Accents.
From that bit, to the hit songs “Church League Softball Fistfight,” “First Baptist Bar & Grill,” and the infamous “Booty Song,” Wilson was a master of the craft who had done it all. As an avid fan of comedy, I respect and admire his career and know that the world of comedy has lost a truly great face. Rest in peace, Tim. Our prayers are with your family.