Comedian Mel Cabang, who entertained Hawaii for decades, dies at age 77

Updated: Dec. 22, 2019 at 8:01 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mel Cabang, one of Hawaii’s comedic legends, died Saturday in Las Vegas at age 77.

His family said he underwent open heart surgery Wednesday and was recovering in the ICU. He had been walking and talking; however, his condition took a turn and his heart gave out Saturday.

Cabang began performing comedy in the islands back in the early 70s. He moved to Nevada about nine years ago.

His son, Mel Cabang Jr., described him as a great father and his best friend.

“He was a legend," he said. “I couldn’t believe every time we walked down the street how many people would just come up to say hi, and he would never turn anybody away. He was wonderful that way."

Members of the local comedy community remembered their friend and colleague as a kind-hearted man.

“I would always cook for him and he would always come over and teach me how to play cards, and he was always just so nice to me,” said friend and fellow comedian Lanai Tabura.

“He would always call me genius because I have a big head. And I used to tell him, ‘why do you call me genius for,’ and he would go because you have a big head and your brains big so you must be smart," Tabura said.

Cabang most recently appeared in the film Kuleana and made appearances in Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I.

His family says they plan to hold memorial services in Hawaii. Details will be announced at a later date.

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