Comic Lewis Spears, whose website says he is “infamous for his confident, dark and dangerous material”, was performing his show Back in the Trenches at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on Friday (9 April).
During his set, Spears joked about recent headlines made by the royal family, saying: “I saw one headline that was like, ‘Has the royal family lost touch with the commoners?’ Yes! What gave it away, was it The Crown? Was it the cape, the throne, or was it when they invented the term commoner?"
Spears then specifically turned his attention to Prince Philip, prompting awkward laughter from the audience as he joked that the royal was so old he had “invented racism”.
One member of the crowd then shouted out: “He just died,” prompting a look of shock from the comedian.
“What?” he incredulously asked, taking a phone from a member of the audience to read aloud Queen Elizabeth’s official statement.
He then joked: “Can I just say, a bit overdue,” before continuing his set about the Duke of Edinburgh.
“Are we sure he died today?” he asked. “I reckon he died 10 years ago and they wheel him out attached to strings at special events.”
The video was uploaded to Spears’s own YouTube channel, where he has more than 500,000 subscribers.
“Lewis roasted him so hard that he died of embarrassment before the joke was even told,” one commenter wrote.
Another comment read: “And here folks, we have what is quite possibly the greatest example of comedic timing in the history of comedy.”