Just a few weeks ago at SXSW we met the 2016 Funniest Person in Austin. Her name was Lashonda Lester. She was pleasant and sweet and spoke with us about her budding comedy career and the city of Austin as we sat in the front picknic table at an Above Average Afterparty in the Rainy St. area of town (aka the Brooklyn of Austin). It was a short conversation as she had to go.
A few days later when we were back from the festival, we learned that Lashonda was part of the 2017 class of comedians that were going to tape a half hour special for Comedy Central. It made us happy to see her name there on the heels of meeting her.
Today we learned that Lashonda Lester had passed. According to reports, she had a chronic kidney disease for a while and was receiving dialysis. Just a few hours before her passing, she has posted “Trying to achieve peace and relaxation tonight. Been working on those breathing techniques yall posted. Fingers crossed!”
This news is really saddening – Lester seemed poised to level up her comedy career and, by all accounts, was a pleasant person. It’s days like these that remind us to make them all count.
I just learned Lashonda Lester passed away. She opened for me last week in Austin. Very sad. Very funny person. RIP
— marc maron (@marcmaron) April 6, 2017