It's only been six months since the great stand-up comedian Greg Giraldo died from an accidental overdose. Giraldo's impact within the comedy community was so profound that Comedy Central had no trouble assembling an all-star group to talk about him for Give It Up For Greg Giraldo, which has two airings late tonight.
Here is a clip from the opening minute of the special, featuring praise for Giraldo from Conan O'Brien, Dave Attell, Bob Saget, Nick Swardson and Tom Papa. Jon Stewart also talks early and often about how Giraldo set the bar high for everyone else.
In a sense, yes. The heartbreaking loss is still so raw for many of us. Swardson starts to break down while talking about how Giraldo is suddenly gone. And when Giraldo's participation in NBC's Last Comic Standing last year is mentioned, we hear about him through Mike DeStefano, whom we also just lost two weekends ago.
And earlier this week, at the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Ross and Seth MacFarlane both took time to mention the loss of Giraldo. When Giraldo died, the mainstream media unfairly portrayed him as just an "insult comic" or roaster, when that was merely a thing that he was asked to do that he happened to be brilliant at executing.
Because Greg Giraldo was brilliant, period. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law, he put his knowledge into use as a stand-up comedian by doing his homework and finding a way to deliver socially-conscious messages without ever sounding preachy or intellectual. He was quick-witted and equally fast to deliver a cutting remark that left you in stitches. Or in the case of Denis Leary — on an infamous episode of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, which appears in this hour-long special — emotionally bruised and battered. Leary weighs in on Giraldo here with nothing but kind words, and as O'Brien and Daniel Tosh point out, Giraldo never used his ethnicity as a way to move up the show-business totem pole.
"How dare you not take the short-cut and talk about your people for an hour every single night of your life." — Daniel Tosh, on Greg Giraldo
Ultimately, though, as Attell notes, Giraldo was so smart that he thought he could outsmart his addictions.