Greg Giraldo Dead at 44

Comedian Greg Giraldo accidentally overdosed on prescription pain medications in New Brunswick, NJ last Saturday, September 25th, and died on Wednesday, September 29th. It feels close to home in Portland, because he was slated to appear at in Portland at Helium Comedy Club in two weeks, and was the club manager’s favorite comedian. He was a Harvard-educated lawyer, but only spent a year in that profession before pursuing comedy full-time, appearing on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, his own Comedy Central specials, and as a regular on Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil, as well as Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He was perhaps best known for his participation in Comedy Central’s annual roasts of other comics and performers. He was recently one of three new judges breathing life into NBC’s Last Comic Standing last season. When the overdose news hit the Internet early Sunday morning, premature death announcements flooded Twitter and Facebook. It made the real news on Wednesday harder to take. He was a man who struggled with his own alcoholism, and who was scheduled to appear at a recovery show in New York the day he overdosed. It’s upsetting to see jokes being made about his passing in the comments of nearly every related article on the web. Sometimes people think of a celebrity as being both more than, and less than, a fellow human being with feelings, dignity, and problems.

Giraldo is survived by his three children.

—Virginia S. Jones