Comedy Central's "Tribute to Greg Geraldo"

Apologies if there’s a thread about this, but I didn’t see one.

Did anyone watch the Comedy Central special about Greg Giraldo that aired 03/18/2011? The tribute was well-done, giving a lot more insight into a comedian that many people may not have known outside of the Comedy Central roasts.

Greg was a graduate of Harvard Law School, and he brought that same sensibility to his comedy (unfortunately, not so much for his vices). He prided himself on being well-prepared for whatever situation he was facing on-stage.

I did comedy for about 6 years. And, while I don’t claim to be anywhere NEAR where Geraldo was, there was a certain amount of kinship I felt with him, and others who have that ability.

One of my favorite “Giraldo” moments was on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. From about the 3:18 point until the end of the clip, he goes toe-to-toe with Denis Leary, and just levels Leary. But he didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.

When Giraldo died (to me, anyway), it was like Kurt Cobain’s death. It just devastated me.

The Comedy Central tribute brought me to tears in a couple of places. Very well put together. One of the more underrated, underappreciated voices in comedy got a chance to shine last night.

I agree, I thought it was very well done. I started getting choked up when Nick Swardson was crying. I found it interesting seeing Mike Destefano, who had been a contestant on Last Comic Standing, in the special because he just recently passed away as well. In his case, he was a former addict and died due to a heart attack.

I also liked knowing that all these comics have each other’s phone numbers and text each other.

I had never heard of Greg Geraldo until seeing him on the most recent Last Comic Standing, but he was clearly the funniest of the 4 hosts, and also funnier than 99% of the show’s actual contestants as well.

His academic success is quite impressive, especially given the fact that he was probably all fuckered up on the good stuff (the ol’ Cambridge Crowd dosen’t play around) half the time that he was attending Harvard Law.

Finally I hope he was lucky enough to have “gotten at” uber-hottie fellow judge Natasha while they were working together on LCS. She was a stone-cold stunner, and I bet they would have kept each other sticky & sore for days on end.

Holy crap, I had no idea he was even dead! Looking it up, I see he died last September. I have no idea how this news escaped me for so long.
He was never one of my favorite comedians or anything, but I did enjoy his stand up specials and his appearances on the various roasts.

Yeah I saw this last night, I thought it was excellent. I was never a huge fan or anything, but the clips of his stand-up were really funny and he just seemed like a great dude from the way people talked about him and the interview clips. Swardson crying also got to me. It made me sad all over again.

And man, Jon Stewart has the “serious subject matter weighty voice” down to a science.

Comedy is pretty big in my family, and I still remember where I was when I found out Giraldo was dead (Mitch Hedberg, too, actually). I thought the special was very well done. I’d forgotten all about Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; I used to love that show. I do kind of wish I’d stopped watching just before Swardson started crying. It was very bittersweet: I was impressed all over again by just how good Giraldo was, but also kind of angry at him for letting himself die. And the shot of his kids at the end was just painful. Those kids are so young and I can only imagine what they’ll have to handle.

Giraldo was good. Damn good. He was a highlight on every show he was on.

I just put the special on again. It’s touching to see how much his fellow comedians miss him. I always watched those roasts, and when he came up I knew it would be a fun five minutes. Always.

Shit, Greg’s gone and Larry the Cable Guy lives on. I gotta go dig up some old “Tough Crowd” and “Root of all Evil” episodes.

That’s a good point, and, if I may use my (albeit limited) experiences as a reference point:

I’ve said on this board (I posted here for several years, and then took a break for a few years) about my background. I was a “professional” stand-up comedian for about 6 years. While I wouldn’t claim to have been great at it, it paid my bills. And it was such a refreshing way to be able to vent frustrations that otherwise wouldn’t have had a release. These included my mother’s bout with breast cancer, my fiancée leaving me for another guy, my father’s unexpected death at age 50, and more.

Telling jokes is an EXTREMELY personal experience. The writing is hard enough. Then the constant editing and reworking. It gets even scarier when you figure that your job is to relate these parts of yourself that you’d be terrified to show to your significant other for fear of being left as your SO runs out of your life (that may be hyperbole, but, if so, it’s minor hyperbole).

Comedy can be a very lonely experience, too. On the surface, it seems like a great job. You get to travel, and you get to meet people. But when you’re in 100 different cities (and sometimes more) in a year, there for three to four days, you don’t get the chance to form close-knit relationships with a lot of people. Once your set ends, you’re pretty much left alone for the rest of the night. You say goodnight to a telephone. I’ve been in some of the most beautiful cities in America, and almost never had the chance to turn to someone and talk about the skyline, or food, or the hotel. You get done, you go to your hotel room, you live out of a suitcase, you tell the telephone that you love it (because chances are, the person on the other end can’t be there with you). You watch bad TV and stare at strange walls. If you have any vices, they can easily become magnified because you have to be your own control, and not everybody can effectively be their own voice of reason.

When comedians get together off-stage and hang out, the conversation tends to be some of the most boring, somber, serious conversations you’ve ever heard. A comedian off-duty is just like any other profession. The last thing a mechanic wants to do is fix a car, especially if he’s not getting paid for it. Computer people don’t want to fix your hard drive on their personal time (I realize I’m generalizing here. Most mechanics and computer people will help you out with a problem, but I’m sure a good portion of them bitch about it when you can’t hear them). Comedians - again, a generalization - really don’t want to tell jokes when they’re off stage.

But there’s a kinship among comedians, just like there are musicians and actors that are able to relate to the experiences of people having shared experiences. Who knows better how it feels than someone else who’s been through it?

Comedians form a family of their own. And, just like any other family, tragedies can devastate it. Greg’s tragedy was most devastating for his personal family: his kids, etc. But then, like any other death, it affected his extended family. And, while I’d never met Greg, he was one of three comedians dying that affected me the most deeply (for the record, the others were George Carlin and Sam Kinison. I had the honor of meeting Carlin once, and he was a delightful man). I didn’t know Greg, but I like to think that I was a part of that extended family.

He was an innovator. He was brutally honest, and one of the most intelligent men I’d ever seen.

I’ve kind of meandered from my point, but I think you get what I was trying to say.