Marlon Reid, (1965-2009)
Marlon Reid Bailey “el Pepito Colonense,” the winner of the Buscando a Pepito Comedy Contest has shocked us all with his untimely death last Saturday, May 30, 2009. Marlon, one of my many nephews, has shown an inborn talent that at times has truly surprised us all. Marlon apparently suffered a tragic fall last Saturday in his residence and he was taken immediately to Manuel Amador Guerrero Hospital. But, due to his condition, he was then taken to Panama City where more lab tests were conducted and then he was transferred back to Colon. His medical condition did not improve, however, and in spite of the medications that he received he died at about 10:30 a.m. in the City of Colon.
Marlon had a natural ability to make the demanding Panamanian audiences rock with laughter at his many and sundry jokes and humorous skits which he seemed to cultivate with effortless precision. For those of us who have performed before multitudes of people, we know that this is not at all easy. He had been gaining popularity with his comic interpretations at private events and parties until he decided to enter a humor competition sponsored by a major television station. He jumped to fame a year ago when he delighted the judges in Looking for Pepito, a production of Telemetro Channel 13 in Panama, and a contest in which the station hoped to discover the best of the stand up comedy talent.
Being a comedy connoisseur myself, I watched his many performances attentively as he beat out some tough competitors, but his audacious style, and his unique Colon twang which he used to highlight some of the outlandish characters that one might find on the streets and in the scenes of everyday life in that beleaguered Atlantic coast city, won for him first place, a brand new car and the opening of several opportunities to perform as a professional comedian. His mother Lucille Bailey, in fact, revealed to reporters how Marlon was enthusiastically waiting to represent Panama in a comedy competition in Colombia this coming October 2, 2009; ironically, on that date he would have celebrated his forty third birthday.
I join our fellow citizens of Panama, especially here in Panama City and the City of Colon in mourning the all too swift passing of this comet, Marlon Reid, who graced our firmament making us all laugh happily with his “incomparable charisma.” We here at The Silver People Chronicle mourn the passing of this descendant of the Silver Men who braved all odds to leave us a heritage of excellence.
May God richly bless you, Marlon, for the priceless gift of laughter you have left us all.