Comedian Denis Leary had his set all lined up for the 24th annual Comics Come Home event last weekend.
But during his sound check Saturday, just hours before the Worcester native hit the stage for a crowd of thousands at TD Garden, he decided to add a new element to his routine.
After reading a tongue-in-cheek obituary that went viral last week for Jan Lois Lynch, a longtime Red Sox and New England Patriots fan whose family described her as a beer-sipping, Tom Brady-loving adventurer, Leary said he felt compelled to pay tribute to the Massachusetts native by putting her death notice up on the big screen at the show.
“I came across the story … and the obituary not only made me laugh out loud but really struck me as a celebration of someone who absolutely lived her life to the fullest,’’ Leary said in an e-mail to the Globe.
Leary said his entire opening set for the benefit, which raises money each year for The Cam Neely Foundation, was going to be about the Red Sox and being “a rabid sports fan’’ — especially after the team clinched the World Series title last month.
He said an obituary that mentions Boston sports icons and the importance of laughter made his decision to include Lynch’s family’s remembrance in his routine a no-brainer.
“My only regret,’’ he added, “is that I didn’t get to meet Jan before she died. But hey — now she’s a part of Comics Come Home history forever.’’
The obituary for Lynch, who grew up in Leominster but later moved to Indiana, where she raised her family, described her as a woman with a penchant for living life on the edge — and putting New England teams ahead of everything else.
“Jan is survived by her four loving sons … and eight grandchildren whom she loved more than anything else in the world,’’ the obituary read. “Except the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, Tom Brady, cold Budweiser, room temperature Budweiser, cigarettes, dogs, mopeds, clam chowder ….’’
Greg Patterson, Lynch’s second-oldest son, told the Globe last week that when the family sat down to write the obituary, the words just started flowing. He said taking a lighthearted approach is something their mother would have embraced.
At the time, they couldn’t have guessed the notice would go viral — and certainly never envisioned it would become part of Leary’s set.
When one of her sons found out on Twitter this week that Leary honored their mother on stage, he was ecstatic.
“My brothers and I would TREASURE this,’’ Jeff Patterson wrote. “Mom was a huge fan!!!’’