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Sad news about Greg Giraldo

Giraldo-GregGreg Giraldo, the stand-up comic, died yesterday after being hospitalized on an overdose of prescription drugs. He was 44.

He was best known as a resident “roaster” on various Comedy Central celebrity roasts, most recently one of David Hasselhoff (see the video below) He was also a judge on this past summer’s edition of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.

Marshall Chiles, a stand-up comic who runs the Funny Farm in Roswell and Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown, said Giraldo is one of his favorite comics and has booked him a couple of times. “We’ve lost another one of the greats to drugs,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal.”

He loved Giraldo’s honest, personal observations and said he was nothing but cordial and professional in person. They bonded a couple of times over the fact both had been in recovery. Chiles recalls Giraldo would bring an opening act with him partly to watch over him and keep him sober and clean while he was on the road.

I saw him at the Funny Farm in 2007. Here’s what I wrote for Peach Buzz back then:

Greg Giraldo — a New York observational stand-up comic best known for being a resident “roaster” on Comedy Central’s annual roasts of big celebs such as William Shatner and Alpharetta’s Jeff Foxworthy — admits to being a bit burnt out from being on the road so much.

“Lately, it’s been particularly dark,” Giraldo told Buzz after his late show Saturday night at the Funny Farm in Roswell.

Rodney Ho / AJC

Giraldo, even in his fatigued state, has a knack for being mean in a funny way, as opposed to just being mean. And he threw in a few local jokes, including Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” (“It’s definitely hotter here than a hoochie-coochie.”), Whitney Houston’s drug problems (“Who cares about athletes and steroids? Just entertain us! Nobody is taking away Whitney Houston’s gold records because of crack cocaine!”) and even an oldie-but-goody about how hostage Ashley Smith calmed courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols with pancakes. (“There’s a lesson there, ladies. Learn your way around the kitchen!”)

When he noted that Rolling Stone recently called George W. Bush “the worst president ever,” the crowd reaction was modest.

“Most crowds cheer that line,” Giraldo said. “Look, I don’t think he’s the worst president ever. Maybe the worst American president. … The president of the Selena fan club? Now she was the worst president! She shot Selena! That’s not president-type behavior. That’s more like vice president-type behavior.”

Check Giraldo out in August at the next Comedy Central roast, featuring Flavor Flav. “That one,” he cracked, “will get good and racist early!”

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18 comments Add your comment

your lovely wife

September 30th, 2010
10:08 am



September 30th, 2010
10:11 am

Horrible news.. What’s really sad is that this story was trumped by Britney Spears, Lohan, a laid off police dog and Elton John’s mum. Seriously…..

The Virgin

September 30th, 2010
10:24 am

Maybe the crowd did not laugh at his George Bush statement because they were thinking of Obama


September 30th, 2010
10:51 am

Sad. I really enjoyed his brand of comedy. Those Roasts are great and he was a big reason why. KG I agree. John Stewart mentioned it last night at the end of his show but thats the only thing I heard of it.


September 30th, 2010
11:43 am

Once again “The Virgin” just had to make it political.


September 30th, 2010
11:54 am

No wonder the guys a virgin… Greg Giraldo was hilarious, always has been. Liked him on the Colin Quinn show back in the day too. Sucks he died of an overdose, oh well.


September 30th, 2010
12:22 pm

anyone know if it was accidental?

The Un-Virgin

September 30th, 2010
1:19 pm

The Virgin must not be able to read – it was an excerpt from 2007. When Bush was still in office. People who choose to insert politics into everything should just be shot, since most of them cling to their 2nd amendment rights anyways. Greg was a brilliant man who seemed like this generations Don Rickels.


September 30th, 2010
2:28 pm

Truly sad news, my wife and I saw him at the Punchline a few years ago and he was hilarious. We always wanted to see him again but it never worked out. In a just world he would’ve had a much bigger career but it seemed that he never quite caught on in a big way, I can’t figure out why. His material was very sharp, observant, and funny, and his delivery was excellent, just the right mixture of acid & innocence.

A great comedian, R.I.P. The world was a funnier place with him in it.


September 30th, 2010
3:23 pm

I loved his comedy, and whenever he had a special on late at night on Comedy Central, I just had to stay up and watch him. He was good at Spanish accents when he portrayed his father. I will surely miss him. The article said prescription drugs, not real drugs. RIP


September 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

prescription drugs are real drugs. don’t kid yourself. ever heard of oxycotin?

Haywood Jablome

September 30th, 2010
4:05 pm

Sad loss for a guy who could really make me laugh with some really original comedy.

Read today that he also went to Columbia and graduated Harvard Law. Had know idea that his comedy was coincidental to such impressive academic horsepower.

Mr Mackey

September 30th, 2010
4:05 pm

i’ve only heard of oxycontin

drugs are bad… mmm K?


September 30th, 2010
4:36 pm

Sad news… a little late to the party on this though, Rodney. Way to break it at ten o’clock this morning…. As for Giraldo, he was one of my favorites. He will truly be missed.


September 30th, 2010
4:42 pm

Politics aside (generally speaking politics and comedy should be as separate as church and state), the guy was a talented and very funny comedian that always made me laugh. No surprise about his demise though, as he has had a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse.


September 30th, 2010
6:11 pm

Beaux-His Wikipedia page said it was accidental, but I’m not sure how credible that is.

This is really sad to me. His OD was what, four days ago? Why did we not hear about it? Were his people keeping it under wraps for a reason? I mean, that makes sense, but the news of his death was very surprising. Well….Kind of surprising.

Rodney Ho Moe

September 30th, 2010
10:12 pm

What a shame… he was hardcore.

sinpathetic drug

October 5th, 2010
9:07 pm

Sad to lost another great person to OC…keep it on the 420..the worst thing that happens is you down adozen twinkies…go green…avoid any pill please or suffer the…..