This coming Thursday, September 29, will mark the one year anniversary of the death of stand-up comedian Greg Giraldo. Known mostly for his roasts, Giraldo was beloved by comedians and audiences alike because of his quick wit and acerbic tongue. Frequent contributor Lucas Molandes reflects on Giraldo’s passing and the vacuum his absence left behind.
Almost a year.
In life, we deal with so much shit on a daily basis that eventually we develop a tolerance for the stench. Once that happens, it gets harder to care about the things that used to piss us off because they barely even register on our weary senses. And then life becomes us just going through the motions. But that’s the scary part. No matter how bored we get, the stench is always there. And there are people in the world who never stop breathing in the stink of life. Like a canary exposed to fumes in a mineshaft, those people are here to remind us that danger is all around even if it’s undetectable to our tired old noses. I feel like Greg was one of those people.
After the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, comments like this began popping up on youtube -“Very dissapointing Gilraldo wasn’t here for the Sheen Roast” and, “Damn it Greg!!! U should of been here for Sheen.” It’s depressing to think that Giraldo should still be alive just so he could have found new ways to insult some washed-up celebrity. However, I understand those pleas. For many, Greg was the catharsis that so many people needed but don’t know how to give themselves, including himself, sadly.
Whether it was a roast or his live show, Greg was an assassin of the hypocrisy, frustrations and ignorance that most people wouldn’t have noticed without him. And he never came off cruel during his most aggressive moments on stage. He wasn’t spiteful. He wasn’t an insult comic. He was passionate. Watching Greg was like watching a Bushido slice open the bloated stomach of society. And in those short moments he was on stage, we lived his frustrations and experienced a sense of strength that can only come from being so vulnerable.
We live in an age where Charlie Sheen just made 25 million dollars and bodies are being dumped on roads in Mexico. And most of you probably spend every morning watching the sun rise over traffic while you drive to a job you hate, for money that barely pays the bills. So what’s important, really? In the avalanche called life, it’s easier to throw your hands up in apathy than it is to put a voice to the mounting frustrations.We all have our fears, and they’re all valid. People who do what Greg did make us feel less alone. They make it okay to face your problems, because if you’re never afraid then how will you ever face your fears and grow as a person? Being vulnerable is what allows us to take in life in such a way that makes it worth living.
Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.”