Stand-up comedian Greg Giraldo died yesterday as a result of complications from an accidental prescription medication overdose. He was 44.
Unless you were a stand-up fan, Giraldo probably flew under your radar. Maybe you recognized him as a judge on Last Comic Standing, or from his sole appearance on The Marriage Ref, or from his numerous appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
He was also the closest thing Comedy Central had to a staff comedian, participating in most of their celebrity roasts and starring in a number of stand-up specials and failed pilots.
Giraldo's style was acerbic and rapid-fire. The former lawyer (and Harvard law grad) was, at his best, an intelligent and incisive talent. Think a less pretentious (and funnier) Dennis Miller, or a less neurotic Marc Maron. He now joins Bill Hicks and Mitch Hedberg on the roll call of comedians who died way before their time. Meanwhile Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia are still around. Thanks, God.
Anyway, here are some of our favorite Giraldo-logues.
"Underwear Goes Inside the Pants"
I blame whoever put that fake Kurt Vonnegut "sunscreen" speech to music for this trend. Still, this "song," which hits on such topics as prescription drug commercials and homelessness, is vintage Giraldo.
vs. Denis Leary -- Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn
Giraldo was a regular on Tough Crowd, which tended to otherwise showcase some of the least funny alleged comedians in the industry. He was also a master of taking down certain blowhards who might think just because they made a career out of stealing another comedian's shtick they should be taken seriously on foreign policy ...
vs. Greg Proops
... or sexual assault. Look, Proops is an imbecile and widely loathed by anyone, well, anyone not named Greg Proops. Giraldo gets some licks in, but Tough Crowd borrowed its debate format from The O'Reilly Factor, so it's hard for him to be heard over the other jabbering idiots.
"You seem to know a lot about rape, Greg." Proops obviously honed his debate skills on the finest playgrounds in Europe.
Larry the Cable Guy Roast
Like Jeff Ross and Lisa Lampanelli, Giraldo had become something of a fixture on the celebrity roast circuit. With Larry the Cable Guy, it's like shooting fish in a barrel, but Giraldo has rarely been better than he is here (you have to get through Lampanelli's bit first, however).
"Larry the High School Diploma" ... that's funny shit.
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Gilbert Gottried's Final Tribute
If you only know Gottfried from the Aflac commercials and as the parrot in Aladdin, you might be surprised to discover he's one of the more offensive comics in the business. For proof, here's the Tweet he sent upon hearing of Giraldo's death:
Too soon? Probably, but I seriously doubt Giraldo would have minded.