Louis CK Pens Heartfelt Note to Late Boston Comic Kevin Meaney

'Kevin was the gravity that pulled me into the scene.'

Longtime Boston comedy fans were dealt a huge blow over the weekend when news broke that comedian Kevin Meaney was found dead in his New York home.

Meaney’s death hit Louis CK especially hard, as the late comic inspired the notable Newton native to get into the laugh business. CK paid tribute to the comedian in a newsletter released via his website on Sunday, saying that he was “shocked and heartbroken” to hear of Meaney’s death.

“Kevin was the gravity that pulled me into the scene,” CK wrote in the post. “Kevin was the most naturally funny comedian I ever saw. Every word he said was insanely hilarious.”

The Louie star admitted that Meaney would have him and other comics “literally on the floor, laughing, crying, gasping for air,” even when he bombed in front of an audience. CK credits Meaney and the legendary Barry Crimmins for starting and growing the Boston comedy scene with their sets at the old Ding Ho Chinese restaurant in Inman Square.

“They were two guys from upstate New York who came to Boston and, among other guys, were the ones who made all of this happen,” CK wrote. “They did shows there every night and there was always a line around the block. By the time I started, the Ding Ho had closed down, (the owner had gambling debts) but the scene had exploded into what I discovered.”

The Emmy-winning comedian and actor revealed that he learned an important lesson about confidence while watching Meaney’s work on stage.

“Kevin taught us that you can reach down into your very babyhood and just be as silly and insane as you want,” CK wrote. “You can smash the structure and just talk like your mother and sing Wayne Newton and scream and sing and if you carry that off with confidence and skill, the audience will follow you everywhere.”