Veteran comedian Ian Cognito died after falling ill on stage during a gig at a U.K. comedy club while audience members looked on, thinking it was “part of the act.”
Cognito was performing a set Thursday night at the Lone Wolf Comedy Club at The Atic bar in Bicester when he suddenly became ill on stage, the British Press Association reported.
Paramedics were called to the club just after 10 p.m., but the comedian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Members of the audience told the BBC that Cognito “sat on a chair and laid back for five minutes.”
“Only 10 minutes before he sat down he joked about having a stroke,” John Ostojak told the British broadcaster. “He said, ‘Imagine having a stroke and waking up speaking Welsh.’”
The man said it was towards the end of Cognito’s set when the comedian took a seat onstage.
“We thought it was part of the act,” Ostojak explained. “We came out feeling really sick, we just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him.”