Comedian Greg Giraldo, most recently known for his role as a judge on the NBC show Last Comic Standing, died today at the age of 44. Giraldo was hospitalized just five days ago for an overdose.
Greg Giraldo’s friend Jim Norton was the first to announce Giraldo’s death via Twitter.
“Greg Giraldo passed away today. This is the last photo of us together, taken June 28 at Noam’s wedding,” Norton tweeted Wednesday. “RIP buddy.”
When the news of Giraldo’s hospitalized was released, sources said the overdose was not intentional and involved prescription drugs. He had been staying at the Hilton East Brunswick in New Jersey while performing a four-night gig at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick.
According to TMZ, Giraldo’s three children were with him at the time of his death in a New Brunswick, NJ hospital.
In addition to his role as a judge on Last Comic Standing, Giraldo was a regular on Comedy Central celebrity roasts. This afternoon, Comedy Central released a statement: “The tragic news of Greg’s passing hits us very, very hard. Greg has been a close member of the Comedy Central family for years, injecting his energy and wicked sense of humor into countless projects. The comedy community lost a brother today. Our thoughts are with his family.”
The producers of Last Comic Standing also released a statement this afternoon: “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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Just hours after Giraldo passed away, fellow comedian Gilbert Gottfried tweeted a joke about his death, writing, “If Greg Giraldo is cremated, will that be the ‘Greg Giraldo Roast’?” Some worry this may be too soon to make such jokes. What do you think? Was Gottfried’s joke was funny, considering Giraldo was a comedian, or just totally insensitive?