Greg Giraldo dies at 44; quit law to become a stand-up comic


Comedian Greg Giraldo, a regular on Comedy Central celebrity roasts and a judge on the NBC-TV show “Last Comic Standing,” died Wednesday. He was 44.

Giraldo died at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., after being hospitalized days earlier. His death was confirmed to Reuters by producers of “Last Comic Standing.”

The Home News Tribune of East Brunswick reported that Giraldo had suffered a drug overdose on Saturday, citing New Brunswick police. His managers have declined to comment.


Jon Stewart paid tribute to Giraldo on “The Daily Show” Wednesday. “The comedy world lost a good man and a great comic,” Stewart said.

Born in New York in 1965, Giraldo earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard. But he preferred comedy to law.

“I knew I was going to quit all along,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1996. “I was first generation, I was the first person born in my family, the first person to go to college.... In my mind, I had to at least try [law]. And I did — and I hated it so much that there was no way I was going to live my life that way.”

Giraldo told Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper in 2004 that after trying stand-up comedy once, “I literally quit [law] the next day.”

He was a frequent guest on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and “The Howard Stern Show.” His last appearance on Comedy Central was for a roast of David Hasselhoff in August.

He also starred in the ABC sitcom “Common Law” in 1996.

Giraldo was divorced with three children.