BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Mickey Dean, a renowned Alabama-based comedian known for his appearances on “Rick and Bubba” and for his touring show, died Aug. 26 from COVID-19-related complications.

To the people who knew him best, the Alabama-based comedian was both hilarious and legendary.

“He was a very very funny man. He had great delivery and when you think about the classic southern storyteller, that’s Mickey Dean,” said Rick Burgess, co-host of the Rick and Bubba radio show where Dean was a regular guest.

Courtesy Mickey Dean’s Facebook.

Bruce Ayers, owner of the Stardome comedy club in Hoover and Dean’s former manager, remembers knowing something was special about Dean during his first stand-up comedy performance.

“Mickey comes in. I said ‘Here’s the deal. You go up there for five minutes, you do your own material, you don’t do someone else’s and at five minutes, I’m going to give you a light and you’re gonna come off,'” Ayers said. “Okay, so he gets up there and he rocks the house. I mean I’ve never seen anything like it when somebody goes up there for the first time.”

Dean was raised in Walker County and made a career of talking about his roots.

A photo of a young Mickey Dean. Courtesy Mickey Dean’s Facebook.

“We love when our culture is portrayed the right way. So many times you see people try to portray the southern and Alabama culture. They do it and it’s exaggerated, it’s not genuine. Mickey went out and presented the Southern culture, not afraid to make fun of it and some of the stereotypes, Southerners don’t really take themselves seriously. But he was genuine.”

Even local celebrities knew a good time was coming when he walked in the door.

“I look down at the rundown and see that he’s coming and I’d say we’re gonna have one heck of a day today,” said Bill “Bubba” Bussey of the “Rick and Bubba” show.

For years, Dean worked tirelessly with Ayers, booking thousands of corporate shows and building his following.

“Mickey was so good at that,” Ayers said. “At all the time we had together, we booked over two thousand of those private events and everybody loved Mickey. I mean it was so funny, so country.”

In his later years, Dean suffered from different health problems. He then caught COVID-19, causing complications that would later take his life. He would’ve turned 75 years old Sunday.

Dean leaves behind his friends like Ayers, the “Rick and Bubba” gang and his central Alabama community.