Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


DeForefest: Bright Laughs from a Blue Room

Death is a sad thing. However, these comedians turned the passing of Kenny DeForest into a joyous celebration worth remembering.
Photo by Cayden Harman
Each night of the event, Blue Room Comedy club hosted a wide variety of people, which ranged from comedians to some of DeForest’s closest friends.

When a lifetime friend passes away, emotions like grief, sadness, and regret come to mind. A comedy event headlined by Hannibal Burress, does not.

   Kenny DeForest was a popular New York comedian who passed away on December 13, 2023. DeForest graduated from our school and played basketball before he discovered his love for comedy. DeForest died at age 37 due to an E-bike crash in Brooklyn, New York, and passed away at the hospital.

   DeForest was friends with everyone, he could light up any room and was able to make strangers feel comfortable opening up to him about anything.

    “Kenny was somebody who could become your best friend in 12 minutes. He had this million Mega-Watts smile and could talk to anybody and everybody,” close friend Floyd M. said.

   DeForeFest was a celebration of life event for DeForest. It was mainly housed at Blue Room Comedy Club from April 23 to 28. Activities ranged from early morning basketball runs and yoga sessions to open mic late into the night. 

   The comedy club was flooded with DeForest’s friends whom he met throughout the years of his travels, the bars he frequented, those he performed shows with, and whom he lived with. That made his loss so much more impactful upon those who loved him.

    “I’m a postman out there delivering my mail and I got a call about it. I’m putting the package down and all of a sudden I felt a heartache. It was like the first time I ever had a breakup with a woman,” Floyd said.

      When DeForest was traveling he loved the places he visited and the places he lived but he never forgot about home. He made annual trips back to Springfield for Christmas and would stay for New Year’s. During holidays, DeForest invited friends and fellow comedians back to enjoy Springfield with him.

 “Kenny left Springfield, but it never left his heart. He talked to everybody about Springfield and brought people here to do comedy,” Floyd said.

    DeForest’s comedy career in Springfield didn’t start spectacularly. Along with fellow comedian Will Miles, DeForest performed his first shows in Prima’s Mexican restaurant, which landed without much fanfare.

   “It is funny because we weren’t that good at comedy yet. We had potential. One of the first ones he took us down to was just crickets,” Miles said.

  While many in the audience may have come out for a laugh, the reality of the situation remains unchanged.

   “The jokes are to cover the true sadness we are feeling this weekend. It is weird to be down here for Kenny, but not with Kenny,” Miles said.

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About the Contributors
Cayden Harman, Sports Editor
Sophie Webb, Website Manager