Michael Roof, a comedian known as "Chicken" who co-starred in the two XXX action movies, and had acting roles in both Black Hawk Down and The Dukes of Hazzard movie, died earlier this week. He was only 32. This sad news came to me from two knowledgeable sources overnight, both of whom alleged that Roof had taken his own life. Friends of Roof also began offering their condolences Tuesday afternoon and evening on Michael Roof's MySpace page.
UPDATED: A viewing and funeral are being planned in Roof's hometown of Dunnellon, Fla. The police report from Gwinnett County in Georgia confirmed that Roof did commit suicide Tuesday morning. Services will be held this weekend, with a viewing from 6-8 p.m. Friday, funeral at 10 a.m. Saturday at Roberts Funeral Home, 19939 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Dunnellon, Fla.
Here's what I can tell you with certainty…
Michael "Chicken" Roof had a wife and children. He got his nickname "Chicken" during college and started out his comedy career in Atlanta. After making his mark at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, he got cast in the WB sketch comedy show, Hype. But he got more notice as an actor, getting roles in the real-life war movie, Black Hawk Down, as well as a recurring role as the weapons nerd agent in the two XXX films. In fact, he gets more speaking lines in the trailer for XXX than either star Vin Diesel or Samuel L. Jackson.
In 2006, he got a reality show on cable network Spike, Raising the Roofs, based on his dad and uncle temporarily moving into his Hollywood digs, with the juxtaposition of their redneck Florida roots providing the "comedy" for the program. Here's a clip from that in which Roof's dad and uncle decided to bring their pet pig with them.
But Roof's career had stalled since then. He still was touring comedy clubs, as this Rooftop Comedy clip from Go Bananas in Cincinnati from March 2009 reveals Roof joking he could not take the pain of getting hit by a pitch in baseball:
Which makes you question: Suicide?! Really? But soon after this gig, Roof was publicizing his problems to anyone with Internet access. He wrote this on his MySpace blog April 14, 2009 (his last login to his MySpace page was June 7):
practicing medicine is just that, practicing medicine…even with psychiatry. what combination of pills will ultimately keep us all from jumping. I went on the road in march and have had an experience now on the road. I truley don't know if I like it. that sucks. I can do it…..but i don't truley know if I want to do it. what else will i do if i do not do this? shit I dont know. i am mean, moody and unpredictable right now and I guess that is supposed to be a comedian…..fuck that. I have turned bitter towards it because i am not young and naive like I was when i started. I know where it leads and I know what comes from the work you put in. More roadwork, more money, films and television. sounds cool huh? the movie part is cool….thats about it. Even that blows the sausage some time. but ok i dont think i could ever get tired of films. but(fuck capitalization and form right now. not so easy to get films. especially when everyone that works for you thinks you are unpredictable and will dissapear for years at a time. (I do though) there has got to be something else interesting on this earth for me to do….something…shit. I have to find it. anyone have any career ideas or options for me. I am taking advice from all as long as they are serious about it. oh well, know one will read this anyway. I am a flake
Any premature death is a sad one, and also often preventable. Please, if you feel like you're in trouble, reach out for help. People and resources are out there waiting to help you.