Larry Getlen has written an insightful article on the brilliant comedy, and the tragic addictions, of the late Greg Giraldo. Getlen interviewed comedian Jesse Joyce — who toured with Giraldo and wrote for his many popular Roasts — as well as Jim Norton for the piece. But you won't find it in the New York Post, where Getlen is a regular freelancer. This is for Splitsider.
Here are two quotes from Joyce, one about his comedic ability to use intelligence and wit on any audience:
‚ÄúHe was so confident on stage, such a master of words and so naturally funny, that he could take anything he wanted to talk about and make it funny even if you disagreed with his politics on it. At the end of the bit, it was flawless logic,‚Äù says Joyce. ‚ÄúYou could disagree with the concept of gay marriage, but he would [talk about this] in Texas, or in the South. We‚Äôd work together in Georgia, and he would start the bit with some version of, ‚Äòif you think gay people choose to be gay, you‚Äôre an asshole.‚Äô He would confront people aggressively to say, what you believe is wrong. But by the end of the bit, not only would he get an applause break, but everybody would be like, ‚ÄòHuh. I see your point.‚Äù He could take anything he believed in, and make it funny to people who disagreed with him.‚Äù
And here Joyce talks about addiction.
‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs so insidious about addiction,‚Äù says Joyce, ‚Äúis that it tricks you ‚Äî and everyone around you ‚Äî into thinking that this is the way it is for now, but that it‚Äôs gonna get better. Because we would have these periods of time where it was all fine and great, and I would get lulled into the idea that maybe this time it‚Äôll stick. For me, I know I always have that option. I can always go out and get drunk tomorrow if I want and see where that takes me, get back on that elevator and ride it down a few more floors, but my life has improved enough for me to know that that was the problem. I don‚Äôt think Greg ever gave it enough time. He would get inklings of it. He‚Äôd start getting up earlier in the morning and read the paper. He would do proactive, productive things, and be on time for flights and stuff. And he‚Äôd go, ‚Äòyeah, this is great.‚Äô But I don‚Äôt think he ever gave it enough time to really reap the benefits of sobriety.‚Äù
You can read the whole thing on Splitsider.
Moving forward, you can help Giraldo's three sons by laughing it up at "The Big Time Comedy Show," a week from tonight on Feb. 9, 2011 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City — hosted by Tom Papa with performances by Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, Ted Alexandro, Judy Gold, Colin Quinn and Jesse Joyce. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.