Oliver Jones January 29, Cooper, was doing laundry in his Oakland home when he accidentally knocked an aerosol can of spray starch off a shelf. According to Curry, the can hit a metal bracket that connected a water heater to the wall and ruptured.
The combustible combo of fire and aerosol set off an explosion that blew Curry 10 feet back and engulfed him in flames. Curry, 45, suffered third-degree burns over 18 percent of his body, including his arm, back and side. He spent four days in a medically induced coma and awoke to searing pain, a charred body and a crippling depression that left him contemplating suicide.
I looked down, and I knew the severity of the situation, but I was able to calm down and call ; [the operator] kept asking me questions like, What type of fire was it? Where are you burned? Does it make a difference if it is my leg or my knee? I got a lot of material from this thing. I remember when I was about to go into shock; I could feel it about to happen. But I kept joking! I was burnt and disfigured. I wanted to commit suicide. Man, I cried every night.
I felt scarred and weak. I remember crying, saying I was less than a man. The people at St. Francis Hospital [in Oakland] saved my life. It was Sinbad on the phone making me laugh. Martin Lawrence called, the Wayans brothers. When Bill Cosby calls you, jokes with you, it inspires you. He told me to keep my head up and be strong.
I started crying when he was on the phone. After I got off the phone with him, I walked for the first time since the accident. I got up onstage [at a San Francisco comedy club] three, four days after I got out of the hospital. I had to do comedy. I thought it might be my last time onstage, and I wanted to get up and talk about this. I will never mess with that propane. Anything to do with fire: The heat kills me.
I use baby shampoo to clean with now. Before, I was the dude who wanted to keep a nice image. I wanted people to come to the show and say, He looked beautiful, he looked rich. Now I go onstage and talk about being in a coma and about suicide: Is there any more rich a subject for comedy than suicide?
I just need to be funny onstage. I shot it; then I pulled it apart. Neighbors thought I was crazy, but it felt great. You May Like Get your People daily dose Subscribe to the daily newsletter for the latest celebrity news.