James Vernon, comedian

by Brian McKim & Traci Skene on March 14th, 2011

FOS Murv Seymour called to let us know that James Vernon passed away this past weekend of a heart attack. According to his Facebook page, Vernon was born June 12, 1951. (There are multiple comments on Vernon’s wall and that would be the place to consult for funeral services, donations, etc.)

From a March 2007 article:

James Vernon’s past is nothing to laugh at. The 55-year-old Clearwater resident battled heroin addiction for 18 years, spent two years homeless, went to prison twice and once tried to kill himself on a Houston street corner. And that was before he received second- and third-degree burns in a freak gas station accident. But after sobering up and becoming a comedian, Vernon has been able to squeeze jokes (and laughs) from his turbulent former life. He headlines a benefit show on March 24 at Coconuts Comedy Club in Clearwater.

And from his bio on RecoveryComedy.com:

In July 1979 the Comedy Workshop opened its doors as Houston Texas’ premiere comedy club. It was the birthplace for some of the most well known names in comedy, both past and present: Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Ron Schock, Fred Greenlee, and Brett Butler, just to name a few. Before closing its doors in January 1990 it produced yet another talent who is rapidly following in the footsteps of his predecessors.

James Vernon has experienced life the way most only read about. From his three years in the Marine Corps to his prison terms, sixteen year drug addiction to catching fire and receiving third degree burns over 35% percent of his body. James found humor in all of life’s experiences. His intellect and street suave lend to James’ unique outlook on current events. James has the uncanny ability to present controversial issues with a flair for walking that fine line between dangerously dirty and brilliantly funny without offending even the most prudent of audiences. His enlightening view of reality allows us a different perspective of life.