Comedian Greg Giraldo died Wednesday, according to TMZ and various media sources, never recovering from the accidental prescription medication overdose that resulted in his being rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N. J., Saturday evening. Greg Giraldo was 44.
“Greg passed away today at the hospital in New Brunswick as a result of an accidental overdose,” a source close to Giraldo told TMZ. “His family was by his side.”
Friends found Greg Giraldo unresponsive at a party in his hotel room Saturday evening and called 911. Paramedics were able to revive him and he was immediately transferred to a nearby hospital.
The Last Comic Standing judge had been staying at a hotel in New Brunswick as part of a four-night gig at the Stress Factory. A recovering alcoholic who often used his struggles with addiction as part of his act, Giraldo had performed earlier Saturday at the New York Recovery Rally in New York City to mark National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
A representative at his management company, The Collective, issued a statement after his hospitalization noting that Greg Giraldo was in critical but stable condition and that he had apparently overdosed on prescription pills.
Fellow comedian Jim Norton posted to Twitter Saturday, confirming his friend’s death. “Greg Giraldo passed away today,” he wrote, attaching a picture of himself and Giraldo. “This is the last photo of us together, taken June 28 at Noam’s wedding. RIP buddy.”
A Harvard Law School graduate who didn’t make it a year as an associate before figuring out that his talent was better served doing stand up comedy, Greg Giraldo was a common face seen on Comedy Central Network. Many became familiar with his work during the run of “Tough Crowd,” the Colin Quinn-led talk show that humorously discussed current events. He appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” several times and on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” nearly a dozen times. Besides his half-hour comedy specials for Comedy Central and his recent stint as judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Giraldo may have been best known for appearances as a roaster on the annual “Comedy Central Roast of…,” the last of which involved the roasting of actor David Hasselhoff.
At the end of Wednesday’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Jon Stewart told his audience that Greg Giraldo had died. In somber fashion, Jon Stewart paid tribute to the comedic genius before playing a video clip during the regular “Moment of Zen” segment of one of Giraldo’s most popular stand up sequences.
And it is in the empty silence that follows, where the memoriam epitaph lingers on, that the viewer immediately and sadly recognizes that there were still so many more jokes to be told…
Greg Giraldo rips on the United States and religion, common themes from the Harvard Law alumnus, in the stand-up routine video that follows.