On June 5, 2018, fashion designer Kate Spade tragically took her own life. One of the first people to pay tribute to the groundbreaking designer was her brother-in-law, comedian David Spade. Posting a picture of the pair together on his Instagram, Spade grieved both publicly and privately, writing “She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard.” With the pair having been family for almost 25 years, the comedian felt the devastation of Kate’s passing more than most.
In a new profile piece in The New York Times, Spade once again remembered his famous sister-in-law for her sense of humour. “Katy was so funny,” said Spade, adding that Kate had a long history of preferring to maintain a quiet private life. “I don’t know if agoraphobic is the word, but she didn’t like to mingle a lot; she’d have people at her house and she was always so funny.” Spade added “I feel like Katy wouldn’t have done it, five minutes later. But these things happen and there’s no going back.”
The New York Times piece, which centres around Spade’s upcoming late night show Lights Out With David Spade (July 29) on The Comedy Network, arrives just a few weeks after the one year anniversary of Kate Spade’s death, a difficult milestone that Spade acknowledged with a picture of the loving in-laws on his Instagram page. Spade has spoken publicly about Kate since her death, appearing on Good Morning America, speaking with Andy Cohen on his radio show, and with Extra. Spade also shared a picture of himself with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan, Kate’s niece, with the pair both honouring the late fashion designer’s memory in interviews.
View this post on Instagram
Spade, who often joked in his standup sets about gifting his dates with damaged Kate Spade purses that couldn’t be sold in stores, opened up about dealing with the many losses in his life. In addition to Kate, Spade also lost his stepfather, who took his own life when Spade was 15, as well as his close friend Chris Farley, who overdosed in 1997. “People just started going right and left, and I would sit and stare at a wall,” said Spade. “I just said, O.K., I guess I’ll cross my fingers that it doesn’t happen to everyone,” he explained. “And more people would go.”
The comedian has continued to push through his devastating losses and commit to a career that centers around making other people laugh. His upcoming series, set to air four nights a week, is the latest step in Spade’s long and impressive career, which includes multiple sitcoms and movies, two books, and his breakthrough role as a cast member on SNL. “But do you just stop doing what you’re doing because of a tragedy?” said Spade. “You have to go, well, I still like doing this.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression, anxiety or self-harm impulses, contact the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.