Local comedian Mel Cabang, 77, died Saturday in Las Vegas, several days after heart bypass surgery, according to a family friend.
His sudden death came as a surprise to his wife.
“She did not expect him to not survive,” said family friend Ray Sagum.
Sagum said Cabang’s wife, Luz, had been with Cabang for a few days after his surgery on Wednesday and that he was getting ready to move rooms within the hospital.
“She went home, and she ended up taking a shower and she took a short nap, and that’s when they called her,” he said. “If she thought he was critical and thought he was going to pass, she wouldn’t have gone home to shower.”
Sagum said he had spoken to Cabang before the surgery and noted that he had a difficult time breathing.
“He had a gig in Hilo that he had to cancel because of his condition,” Sagum said.
Cabang has also acted, appearing in commercials and in shows such as “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum, P.I.”
His comedy acts included a collaboration with his cousin, singer Melveen Leed, and he had toured with other local comedians, such as Augie T, Frank DeLima,Andy Bumatai and Edward Kaahea.
In 1998, he was sentenced to a little over four years in federal prison in Nevada after being found guilty of running an illegal sports betting operation.