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Comedian’s Death Sparks Student Reaction

November 2, 2010 by Eaglecorps911

Andrew Suydam Photo BCC student Andrew Suydam (right) takes a photo with comedian Greg Giraldo in New Brunswick

By Brian Menkes

It is a shame when someone immensely talented meets an early death.
Such is the case for comedian Greg Giraldo, whose death at age 44 came too soon.
The Queens native was removed from life support after a four-day coma and pronounced dead on Sept. 29.
On Sept. 25, Giraldo overdosed on prescription medication in his room at the New Brunswick Hyatt.
Giraldo is famous for many appearances on television shows, such as the Comedy Central Roasts, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, NBC’s Last Comic Standing as well as numerous standup appearances all over the world.
His last live performance was at The Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Brunswick on Sept. 24, a small club in downtown New Brunswick , which has been played by many comedians before they make it big.
Many established comedians such as Giraldo still make appearances, as their audience is mainly of college age, and the club is in walking distance of Rutgers.
Giraldo’s last show was attended by Brookdale student Andrew Suydam who wanted to share his story with The Stall.
The 18-year-old Marlboro resident was looking forward to seeing Giraldo live for the first time, ironically it would be the last time anyone would see him perform.
“After becoming a fan from watching him on the roasts, it was on my bucket list to see him live, and if possible meet him in person,” Suydam said. He scoured Giraldo’s Facebook page for show dates at venues close to the area only to discover events listed out of state.
Not to be discouraged, Suydam later located the performance at Stress Factory.
“I didn’t want to go alone,” Suydam said. “I posted about it on Facebook as my status, but the only people that replied couldn’t go due to scheduling conflicts.
“A lot of people now regret not replying to my offer and wished that they would have gone with me.” Undeterred, Suydam set out on his journey, navigating Route 18 armed with only a GPS.
Several closed roads and a parking fiasco later, Suydam arrived at the Stress Factory after a short stroll through New Brunswick.
“Seeing Greg Giraldo live only happens once every blue moon,” Suydam said. “It would be great to be mocked from the greatest roaster from the Comedy Central Roasts.” But front-row seating wasn’t available. Suydam had to enjoy the show from the middle of the room. After a brief introduction by club owner Vinnie Brand and a short opening set , Giraldo took the stage to a standing ovation. Suydam noted that something seemed off about Giraldo.
“I couldn’t put my finger on it, but he didn’t seem to have the same shine I’m used to seeing,” Suydam said.
He surmised it could have stemmed from the third divorce Giraldo was going through, which he spoke about right off the bat.
Giraldo’s routine consisted of current topics such as Katy Perry and Tiger Woods. Giraldo’s performance lasted over an hour, and when it was done, he said he would be signing autographs and selling merchandise as well as posing for photos.
“I didn’t want to leave until I met him face to face,” Suydam said.
He shook Giraldo’s hand, said his hellos, and mentioned that Giraldo was his favorite living comedian, since George Carlin was his all-time favorite.
“He smiled at me and said ‘Thanks man, I needed that,’” Suydam said.
Suydam had a bystander take a photo of Giraldo and him, and left with an autographed DVD. While walking out of the club Suydam noticed the picture wasn’t zoomed properly and stopped to tap Giraldo on the shoulder to pose for a proper photo, which he gladly obliged.
“Right before I left the club, he shook my hand again and said ‘You’re a great guy, take care of yourself,’” Suydam said.
Those were the last words he heard from Giraldo.
That night, Giraldo would overdose on the medication that would lead to his death five days later.
Many people don’t realize that the crude and rude comedians of the world are often really good people once the spotlight shuts off.
The lights dimmed on this bright star too soon. Greg Giraldo was as good at making people laugh as he was accommodating of his fan base, and this tragic tale is his legacy.

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