Greg Giraldo dies at 44

Accidental drug overdose

American stand-up Greg Giraldo died on Wednesday at the age of 44, five days after he was rushed to hospital for an overdose of prescription drugs

He collapsed in his hotel room in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he was performing at a local club on Saturday. It’s believed he overdosed on the pills by accident, rather than a deliberate suicide attempt.

Giraldo graduated from Harvard Law School, and practised law before becoming a comedian. His career highlights include being a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and last year he was one of the team captains in a pilot edition of an American remake of Have I Got News For You.

He recorded two half-hour specials for Comedy Central and is a regular on the Howard Stern Show and Lewis Black’s topical debate show Root of All Evil.

Fellow comic Jim Norton confirmed the news via Twitter, including a picture of the two of them together, saying: ‘Greg Giraldo passed away today. This is the last photo of us together, taken June 28 at Noam's wedding. RIP buddy.’

Other comedians have been paying tribute, too.

Sarah Silverman said: ‘There are no words to express what a shame the passing of Greg Giraldo is. The roasts will be less bright, and the world will be less funny without him. Greg's smarts - offstage and on –w ere unparalleled and will be missed for a long time to come.’

Patton Oswald tweeted: ‘Really, Universe? Greg Giraldo? Fuck off. Just went way out of my way not to drive past Laugh Factory. If I see Giraldo's name on that marquee, gonna lose it.’

Bill Engvall added: ‘Really sad to learn about Greg Giraldo. He was a funny guy and was great on the roast. RIP, Greg...’

NBC, which airs Last Comic Standing, said in statement: 'NBC, who host Last Comic Standing read: 'Greg was one of the most talented comedians of our time. He was truly brilliant. His work will surely continue to influence and inspire us. We will miss our friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.'

He leaves three children. His website is directing visitors to his Facebook page to leave messages of condolence. Already hundreds have been left, up to a rate of one every five seconds.

Here he is at the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival:

Published: 29 Sep 2010

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