Thursday, May 17, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.
For months, Ron Shock said he didn’t know how his story would end, but the great storyteller has finally succumbed to a rare form of cancer.
Shock died this morning at Adelson Hospice from urethral cancer. He was 69.
Having entered into standup comedy at age 40, Shock was for decades a popular club comic in Las Vegas and throughout the country. He was known for his thorny but hilarious monologues and upon being diagnosed with the fatal disease was known to wear a T-shirt reading, “No One Gets Out Alive.”
Shock announced his diagnosis on his website in December and made his final stage appearance Jan. 7 in Houston. After his diagnosis, he recorded a series of video clips in which he spoke starkly of his illness, saying, “Unlike other stories I tell, I don’t know how this is going to end, and therein lies the rub.”
Shock made more than 30 network TV appearances and was the last new comic to be introduced on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson. He was a founding member of the groundbreaking Texas Outlaw Comics out of Houston, the first comedy club in the South.
His widow, Rhonda, said in an e-mail message today: "He loved his fans so much that he never, ever, one time, mailed it in. He didn't care about fame or money, only his fans and his art and making the people laugh."
Shock was in the audience for the VIP opening of Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand on March 29. A month earlier, a fundraiser was held at Sin City Comedy at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, with several comics working in Vegas that night donating their time to help Shock defray his medical costs, which he said at the time had easily exceeded six figures. Shock was too ill to attend the show that night.
“I've known Ron for 20 years. He was a dear friend and a great comedian that the entire comedy community will greatly miss," said John Padon, a longtime friend of Shock's who organized the February show at Sin City Comedy, which he owns and operates. "We are in the process of putting together a Ron Shock tribute show to honor his memory."
In lieu of flowers, Shock's family is asking well-wishers to make a donation in Ron's name to Nathan Adelson Hospice.
Garrett, a supporter of Adelson Hospice, said of Shock's passing, "It's a lot funnier in heaven now."