Eric Tunney, Dead at 45

In MemoriumEric Tunney was 45. He was the comedian best known as Ed the Sock's co-host following the departure of Harland Williams and prior to the arrival of Humble Howard Glassman.

I couldn't find any video of Eric Tunney hosting Ed the Sock, but I did find this clip of him hosting Switchback back in 1987. Switchback was a CBC music show that, coincidentally enough, was also hosted by Humble Howard at one point. The Eric Tunney I remember was a little older than this guy and always dressed in a suit and tie.

Although Eric's death has not yet been reported by the MSM, tweets from reliable sources assure me this sad news is true. Watch Eric Tunney's Comedy Now special here.


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Hector

That is too bad. I liked him. Do you know what happened?

March 29, 2010 @ 9:43 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

His cousin tells me he'd lived for many years in Los Angeles, but died in his home town of Windsor, Ontario. We're not yet sure what took his life.

March 29, 2010 @ 10:41 AM

Anonymous

suicide...

March 29, 2010 @ 12:38 PM

Anonymous

I will not post my name but yes, suicide.

March 29, 2010 @ 12:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Sadly, I've heard this same cause of death from others via email. It sounds like Eric took his own life.

Lately, as I've been working to rescue www.martinstreek.com from squatters, I've been thinking about Martin and how he too felt suicide was his best option. Then I thought about Dani who is working to remove the stigma of clinical depression by talking openly about her struggles.

Are we doing everything we can for those who suffer from clinical depression?

March 29, 2010 @ 12:52 PM

jeffreytj@aol.com

I worked with Eric many time back in my Detroit days. Both in the states at the "Castle" and at Leo DuFour's Komedy Korner in Windsor. A very talened guy. So sad he chose to take his final curtain.

March 29, 2010 @ 5:52 PM

MIssissaugaBlogger.com

I saw Eric & Ed the Sock at Rogers York Mills studios in the ninties. Great laughs.

Folks who find themselves in a position of such despair need to ask for help that friends and family will be only to happy to give.

R.I.P. Eric Tunney

March 29, 2010 @ 9:18 PM

Glenda

I used to book Eric back in the 80's when he was starting out in stand-up. He was always eager and willing to host or open, and I was so happy when he finally got the headliner slot. What a dreadful loss and how I regret not staying in touch.

March 29, 2010 @ 10:52 PM

Steven Kerzner

This is unbelievably tragic. I had the pleasure of working with Eric when he co-hosted Ed's Night Party for almost 3 years in the early 90s.

Eric was incisive, clever and unique. Eric elevated stand-up to an art, and he was a class-act from start to finish.

I really don't have words. He should have been a big, big star. This loss is a loss for those who knew and loved him but also for those who will now never get the chance to do so or to appreciate his unique gifts.

Rest in Peace, Eric. You will be missed

March 29, 2010 @ 11:02 PM


Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy

Hands down the best Ed the Sock host ever. (Sorry Humble)

Sad sad news, may you rest in peace Eric.

March 30, 2010 @ 8:13 AM

To Mr. or Ms. Anonymous

Mr. Tunney's death was not suicide. I can tell you that officially. SHAME on you for your attention seeking! Do you not worry about your soul being such a vicious gossip. Have you thought about the people you might be hurting? Or is is it just ALL ABOUT YOU? Shame on you.

March 30, 2010 @ 9:48 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@To Mr. or Ms. Anonymous

I've received quite a few emails from people who tell me he took his own life. And that's completely inferred in this Windsor Star article:
http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Windsor+comedian+destined+stardom+takes+life/2741176/story.html

But your point is absolutely valid. The official cause of death is still unknown pending a post-mortem, which Windsor police said Monday would likely take a day or so.

Either way, I'm sincerely sorry Eric's passed away and send my condolences to his family and friends.

March 30, 2010 @ 9:55 AM

Dear Mike and Friends:

Your personal condolences don't make up for being the purveyor of gossip and hurtful remarks. The cause of Mr. Tunney's death is officially unknown and is the hands of professionals. The emails you are receiving indicate simply that you keep bad company. Company that has betrayed their personal friendships with Eric for the sake of gossip. Their current "friends" should sit up and take notice.

March 30, 2010 @ 10:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Dear Mike and Friends:

This isn't the thread for this discussion. I'd rather save this space for those who knew Eric and enjoyed laughing at his sense of humour.

The emails I receive are not because I keep "bad company". I get these emails because I wrote about Eric's death - I don't know the senders personally.

And I personally resent the implication I'm "the purveyor of gossip and hurtful remarks". I never mentioned a cause of death in my entry. This entry had nothing to do with "suicide", it was remembering the passing of a comic I used to watch on television, nothing more. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.

March 30, 2010 @ 10:37 AM

Anonymous

And I am trying to protect the a reputation and legacy of a real person; not simply the flat image of a character you watched on television. I am sorry you feel resentful. We both know it doesn't trump the grief and anger the content of you blog might be causing some today. It takes thick skin and big shoulders to run an open blog and prudent judgement about the kind of doors opened for conversation: you never know what might crawl or slither through. I'll leave you with a couple of synonyms of the word purveyor to comfort you: would your prefer "outlet" or "source"? Maybe it is time to do some careful personal reflection about exactly what it is you are doing. I know you began all this from a good place with a generous spirit and nice memories, but, look where the gossips dragged you: and sadly him. Maybe there are better journalistic outlets waiting for you out there where your gifts might be better utilized. End. Done.

March 30, 2010 @ 11:26 AM

ted

I worked as a sidekick to Eric on SWITCHBACK and later on ED'S NIGHT PARTY. He was always fun, smart, and an honest guy that you could always trust -- whether it be working or sharing chicken wings and beer together.
It's a shame that he never got what he spent his life trying to get.

"Hi Eric, it's me Ted"

R.I.P.

March 30, 2010 @ 5:23 PM

Jason

Goodbuy Eric,

I just wanted to let people know eventhough Eric was sad. Eric always had a smile and a hello ready when he would pass by my office. Right up to my last smile and hello Friday afternoon. This might have been Eric's downfall for all of us though. Maybe if Eric had shown to us how he really felt we could have been there to talk Eric beyond his sadness and know Eric was sharing his smile with us instead of giving us his. Maybe I'm not even in the right to be posting this because I really only knew Eric for less than 3 months. However it only took 1 of Eric's hello and smiles to respect and remember him.

March 30, 2010 @ 8:06 PM

Shawn

Eric and I were best buds in grade school. We used to put on small shows from his backyard for the neighbourhood kids in the area. Even back then he had his own unique style. Loved to collect old coke bottles and absolutely loved the Beatles. Was like an old soul in a young mans body. We lost touch near the end of High School since we went to different ones, but some of my fondest memories are of just hanging out with Eric doing funny shit all the time. Wish I would have known he was back in Windsor and was in such despair. RIP

March 31, 2010 @ 12:31 AM

Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy

Mike, when will report the facts? it's clear you think you are a journalist....

March 31, 2010 @ 1:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy

I'm not sure what you're saying.

I'm intentionally sitting on the facts out of respect for Eric's family. I'm not trying to be a journalist here.

March 31, 2010 @ 2:16 PM

Jason

Mike it seems as if you may have mistaken Jason a.k.a OJ Boy for me Jason. I'm not the one asking you for the facts. I'm the one that found him and like I said in your e-mail to you I don't feel that this is the place for the facts. This is a place for memories, remorse and cudous to a man that sadly is no longer with us.

R.I.P. Eric Tunney

March 31, 2010 @ 8:44 PM

Jason

As for you Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy I feel you should check yourself. If you have any remorse for a man that has passed you don't come on to a memories site to find out what happened. That is what the paper and news will sadly do. You should be here to pay tribute to Eric. If this site was for someone close to you passing would you want the world writing about how it happened or how the person touched your life.

March 31, 2010 @ 8:53 PM

FAMILY

I am Eric’s blood relative. Thanks to all of you that have said such wonderful things about an amazing Man, and further thanks to those of you that silenced the inane. I’ve known Eric all of my conscious life. I was with him at Yuk Yuk’s when he did his first amateur night at 15 years old. I can tell you all officially: Eric did not take his own life. The Police report confirms this, as will the eventual Coroner’s report. Again, many thanks to those of you that had such wonderful things to say. I remain, heartbroken.

March 31, 2010 @ 9:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason

I edited my response so it's clear I was addressing @Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy.

I know @Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy was a big Eric Tunney fan. I'm sure he wasn't trying to be insensitive.

As for the cause of Eric's death, I'm not the police and obviously won't make that call, but I have had detailed exchanges with the gentlemen who discovered Eric's body. I'm sure the police will release a statement shortly.

March 31, 2010 @ 9:57 PM

More Family

Shame on you all who assumed Eric took his own life. Toronto Mike with your reliable sources. Who were they? Apparently not so reliable! The truth is now known. Think before you post is the lesson to be learned. To those who knew the truth thank you for your memories of Eric and for showing restraint amongst all the negative comments.

March 31, 2010 @ 10:09 PM

Jason a.k.a. OJ Boy

I did not come here for that reason, I came to to pay respects, and I've followed up to read up on other people's memories of Eric Tunney, who will be very missed.

The only other point I was ever trying to make is that only facts should be reported, assumptions should not be made. I think we're all on the same side here, I meant no disrespect whatsoever.

I haven't seen the facts, and they won't change that I was a fan.

April 1, 2010 @ 6:54 PM

morgan

Reality check: Eric Tunney followed in the footsteps of many comedians and committed suicide. Those who think this is shameful are the real ones who are showing hate for Eric's memory. Why the embarassment, are these so-called friends going to abandon Eric's memory by ignoring his pain and disgusing his death? THAT is truly shameful.

April 3, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@morgan

That's precisely the sentiment that prompted me to write this:
http://www.torontomike.com/2010/03/the_stigma_of_mental_illness_a.html

Well said.

April 3, 2010 @ 10:33 AM

Peter Kelamis

Whatever the cause of death...the loss is undeniable. My deepest condolances to his friends and family. I had the pleasure of also working with him. This is a very sad time.

April 4, 2010 @ 6:21 PM

Martin

I remember watching Eric when he co-hosted Ed's Night Party. I was very disappointed when he left the show. I am very deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He was a great comic and I am sure that he had a positive affect on many people.
I will never forget him.

April 4, 2010 @ 7:53 PM

More Family

Hey Morgan, just so you know Eric did not take his own life. You are ignorant

April 5, 2010 @ 9:09 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

From the Windsor Star
http://www.windsorstar.com/life/Comic+Tunney+autopsy+inconclusive/2758744/story.html

"The results of a post-mortem were inconclusive," Dr. Robert Drake said Thursday.

April 5, 2010 @ 9:13 AM

More family

Do you believe everything you read. I know for a fact. Does the word family mean anything to you? Even if you or Morgan read inconclusive, it does not give Morgan the right to say it was suicide which is what he submitted on your site.

April 5, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

David Merry

Eric and I were friends and loved to worked together as we both worked clean, he Squeeky clean. Many long car rides and nights together. Loved his line "I could dropkick a nun for a coffee"
Cathy and I send our heart felt condolances to his family.
Made many people happy while he was with us.

God bless Rest in peace

April 6, 2010 @ 10:38 AM

Steve Oakley

The Windsor coroner says he expects to rule Eric's death as an accident. The Windsor Star carried a brief story.

The Globe and mail in its lengthy obituary said "accident."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/deaths/eric-tunney-could-laugh-about-anything---except-not-making-it-big/article1526992/?cmpid=rss1

April 10, 2010 @ 9:09 PM

John R

Goodbye buddy. You were so funny and so talented and I am going to really miss you.

April 19, 2010 @ 5:27 PM

MAC

Hey Morgan: I would love to meet you to discuss this. Name the time and place. Okay? Please? I have some energy to transfer to you. Here comes YOUR reality check pally. Courtesy of mine and Eric's IRE! So sorry you dont know what that means. Alas, you will.

April 24, 2010 @ 5:32 PM

kate

should have left it alone, all I read here is you guys arguing and calling each other names. Really............

September 30, 2010 @ 8:50 AM

Donald De Mers

Eric had attended F.J. Brennan Secondary School in Windsor with me in the late 1970's into the early 1980's. I will never forget his wit, his snappy come backs and his height! Funny during any lunch breaks, between classes and someone I hoped was going places, outside of Windsor. I do express gratitude in having known him and I am sure he has kept them laughing long and hard in the afterlife.
Rest In Peace Eric Tunney

April 21, 2014 @ 2:12 PM

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