Wednesday morning friends Russell Brock and Rachael Dana Robinson came to The Comedy Store filled with memories tainted with sadness.
They spoke of his signature laugh, "I called it his 'wolp', Jimmy Wolpert," Robinson said chuckling behind tears, "his whooping laugh, or yelp as some would call it."
Comedians said they could always count on that laugh to get them through a set on stage. They'd hear it from the back, where he sat in the green room.
"Every comic in San Diego is now one high pitched laugh less funny than they were yesterday," Brock said.
Many met Jimmy at The Comedy Store, he spent lots of time there, according to friends, "this kid would do sketches, he produced his own shows, he really put so much into just putting his art and himself out there," Brock said.
His favorite joke from Jimmy, " when I was a kid, and my parents would get into fights, they would tell me to put on earmuffs, but I could still see them beating the crap out of each other," Brock said laughing. "It's just like this wonderful, playful dark sense of humor, but he had like this twinkle in his eye and this sly scoundrel-ly like grin."
Friends on social media and at The Comedy Store say he was a shining light.
"Jimmy Wolpert just had that ability to just brighten a day, kid gave the best hugs, like ever, I mean he would cling to you like a marsupial baby," Brock said smiling.
"He was just the top of positivity on and off stage," Robinson said while wiping away tears. She said they spent hours waiting in line for their turn on open mic night and talking with him made the time fly. She said it was healing to be around him.
"I had a lot of jokes about having anxiety and depression, and he was always really understanding and willing to be amused by it with me," she said.
Robinson found out at work Wednesday and was overcome with grief, having to leave work. Her only thought, to find a friend to talk with about Jimmy.
"It's such a gut punch to all of us," Brock said.
He's not searching for reasons why Jimmy is gone. Instead, he focuses on what could have been.
"Because he was so genuine and so funny and he had so much potential, and so much ahead of him, he's someone whose name should be in lights, but they shouldn't be in lights like that. That's the ultimate cruelty of the whole thing," Brock said.
Wednesday night, The Comedy Store plans to have a moment of silence, to remember his laugh and honor his life.
Not long after his death, friends discovered a January 9 tweet, in which he said "My goal in life is to one day have a park bench named after me."
As a result, his friends are working to make it happen. They created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the project with a goal of $5,000.
On the page friends write, "We've set a goal of $5,000 until we are able to get a direct answer from San Diego City Council. We've based this number on a few quotes we received for having a memorial bench placed in San Diego County. 100% of the proceeds will be used towards either erecting a memorial bench or having a plaque placed on an existing one."
They say any surplus funds will be used to purchase a memorial plaque in Ocean Beach, where Jimmy often performed at Winston's.