Mike DeStefano, a finalist on last season’s “Last Comic Standing,” died Sunday night after suffering a heart attack.
DeStefano had a rough past, including a severe heroin addiction and the death of his wife. He was also HIV positive. He addressed these struggles in his material, including a recent run of sold-out performances of ‘Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy’ at the Producer’s Club Theater in New York.
DeStefano was scheduled to perform a similar show, ‘A Cherry Tree in The Bronx’ on Wednesday at the Barrow Street Theater in New York City.
He had been clean for 11 years and frequently performed at prisons and rehab centers for free, according to TMZ.
His representative released a statement confirming his death. “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. 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.”