Stand-up comedian Mike DeStefano died last night after suffering a heart attack, Punchline Magazine reports today. He was 44 years old.
The Bronx-born comic, who was HIV positive and began his comedy career about a decade ago after overcoming drug addiction and the death of his wife, had begun to gain national mainstream success after finishing fourth out of thousands in the most recent season of Last Comic Standing. He was also scheduled to perform his new one-man show A Cherry Tree in the Bronx this Wednesday at the Barrow Street Theater in NYC. News of DeStefano’s death was confirmed to Punchline by a friend of the family.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a dear friend, a true gentleman, a great comic, and a fierce warrior, Mike DeStefano,” DeStefano’s rep said in a statement to TMZ today. “Mike had a lot of wisdom to share with the world from his own life lessons and he always did it with laughter and a smile. It’s hard to think that there won’t be any more ‘hey sweetheart’ calls, because Mike always made my day with his mix of kindness and warmth AND profanity filled rants against the wrongs of the world. He was the genuine article. We love you and will miss you, Mike.” Read the rest of this entry »