DEVASTATED friends of Fuquan Johnson and Enrico Colangeli will host a memorial for the two comics next week after they died from a suspected fentanyl-related drug overdose over the weekend.
Johnson, 42, and Colangeli, 48, were found dead inside an apartment in Venice Beach, Los Angeles early Saturday morning along with Natalie Williamson, 33.
A fourth person, actress and comedian Kate Quigley, 39, was found unresponsive inside the apartment in a critical condition.
Quigley is, however, expected to survive. She texted a friend on Saturday evening, telling them: "I'm alive. I'm not great. But im. Ok."
Investigators believe the four friends all consumed a batch of cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is more than 50 times more potent than heroin.
Autopsies will be carried out on Johnson, Colangeli and Williamson this week to confirm their official causes of death.
'HEARTS OF GOLD'
Fellow comedian Jack Assadourian Jr. told The Sun that he will be hosting a memorial for Johnson and Colangeli in LA on Thursday to commemorate the two men, both of whom "had a heart of gold", he said.
The service will be held at the HaHa Comedy Club in North Hollywood, which is owned by Assadourian's parents and severed as the backdrop for countless of the two funnymen's shows.
Calling Johnson and Colangeli "two of the most important people" in his life, Assadourian, 36, said he had known the pair for more than a decade and at one time lived with them both.
"They both were the life of the party and would light up a room. You always wanted to be around them," he said, adding the three would talk or see one another around six times each week.
"We did shows together, toured together, spent holidays together, birthdays and major events – or even it was just on Monday," Assadourian added.
"We were a family."
'THOUGHT IT WAS SICK JOKE'
Assadourian said he last saw Colangeli at HaHa on Thursday night, the evening before the party where he'd ultimately lose his life.
When he was informed of the deaths of two of his best friends on Saturday, Assadourian said he believed the entire thing to be some sort of elaborate prank.
"When I found out the news I thought it was a joke. I called them so many time, and I'm like 'this is one sick joke'," he said.
"I lost two great people, I miss them very much."
He described Fuquan as a selfless confidant who would always be there for him no matter what he needed.
"Whatever you needed he would reply, 'say no more' … he actually came up north with me to my custody battle for my son just because I wanted some support. He said, 'say no more'," Assadourian recounted.
He remembered Colangeli, meanwhile, as his "big brother."
"Rico ran his family’s construction company in Boston. He was so smart, he would always be reading. He was my big brother [and he] taught me a lot."
LA CIRCUIT IN SHOCK
Assadourian said the LA comedy circuit has been left stunned by the deaths of the two men, who were well known, respected, and liked among the local stand-up community.
"Everyone is very sad," he said. "[But] They will never be forgotten. They are my brothers and I won't let that happen."
Assadourian posted two tributes to Johnson and Colangeli on Instagram on Saturday night.
In the second, he wrote: "I know You guys made it past security and made it into Heaven with bottle service and all the girls!
"You guys were loved by so many! We saw each other more than our own family. We were family! I love you guys."
Speaking to The Sun, Colangeli's cousin Maria Spencer also voiced her heartbreak over the performer's sudden, tragic death.
"Enrico (Ricky) was incredibly loved by his entire family, and we’ll miss him more than words can describe," she said.
Spencer described her cousin as "not only a smart, talented comedian but was also a highly skilled carpenter who worked for his family’s construction company."
She said her entire family has been left "deeply saddened" by his passing.
"Losing Ricky is a true heartbreak and is a devastating loss for his siblings, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins who have many fond memories of family Sunday dinners, amazing Christmas Eve meals, and other family celebrations that can only be remembered as epic," she added.
"We loved Ricky dearly and his death is leaving a hole in our hearts that is somewhat comforted by knowing he is now at peace in the arms of his loving parents, Lynda and Rico, who we lost in 2019."
Johnson was a mainstay on the LA comedy circuit and was also a writer for Comedy Parlor Live.
He'd been working in stand-up for more than a decade prior to his death.
Colangeli also worked the circuit for a number of years, though recently relocated back to his native Massachusetts following the death of his parents in 2019.
Comedian Jamie Kennedy called the men's deaths and Quigley's hospitalization an "absolute tragedy" for the LA comedy scene.
"Please send positive vibes to @KateQFunny for her to pull thru. We love u Kate," he added.
Quigley is still recovering in hospital but is expected to survive.
The 38-year-old regularly performs stand-up at venues around LA and has appeared in shows such as “The Office” and “Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.”
She lives in a property adjacent to where the party was held.
It's not known who brought the laced drugs to the party, who hosted the get-together, or in what capacity the drugs were used or passed around.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said there “was no indication of foul play."
LAPD's homicide division is not currently involved in the investigation into Johnson, Colangeli's and Williamson's deaths.
No further information is available at this time.
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