Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RIP Greg Giraldo

A long time ago Comedy Central aired a half-hour stand-up special by Greg Giraldo. I'd never head of him, but his act absolutely killed me. I think I watched it about 37 times. I could recite the whole thing for you right now. Over the years his routine progressed, becoming angrier, more incisive and manic. Hypocrisy was his most frequent target, but no conventional wisdom was safe. I caught his act at Zanies in Chicago a few years back, and he was so torqued up that even unexpected laughter from the audience threw him off his game a bit. But you got the feeling that he enjoyed those moments even more.

Giraldo graduated from Harvard Law School, but gave up on that career to try his hand at comedy. It's obviously one of the most challenging professions to attempt, and even harder to find true success. In the end, stand up comedy is a matter of taste. There are people who think Andrew Dice Clay was the best ever, and they have a right to their opinion. There are people who find Dane Cook better than tolerable. And they can be right, too. If you think it's funny, you laugh. I can say that there was never a comedian who fit my specific tastes better than Giraldo. If a scientist went into a lab to create a one just for me, he'd have a hell of a time doing any better than Mr. and Mrs. Giraldo already did. I'm really going to miss whatever he would have had to say about the news and our culture as they unfold in the future. I don't think we'll find another quite like him...

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