Goodbye, Mike DeStefano. RIP.

I admired Mike DeStefano so much. He was the realization of what the ideal standup comedian could become as well as a testament to the American Dream and will power. I’d only met and hung out with him a handful of times. He’d just started doing my show at Union Hall this last fall. He was amazing. He killed with the darkest and most heartfelt comedy I’d seen in quite some time if not ever. He joked and shared about his wife dying of AIDS, his difficult childhood, about heroin addiction, being a counselor and mentor to addicts, and giving talks on drugs and HIV. He recounted the time (while giving a talk) someone asked him (I think it was a teacher at a high school) if you could get AIDS from a doorknob, and he explained, quite rightly, only if it was covered in blood and you fucked it. And even then the air would probably have killed the HIV virus. It was simply one of the funniest and most touching standup performances I’d seen. For weeks to come I kept telling people about the amazing performance Mike did. Mike emailed me Saturday to see if he could do my show March 6th to practice for his one-man show. I said of course. Then, because of rain and a meeting, he asked if it’d be okay to cancel. He said he could be there if I really needed him to, but that it’d be inconvenient. I said no problem, another time. I will miss you very much Mike. You were a very kind and very funny man. Goodbye, RIP.

Below is a clip of Mike telling a beautiful story about his wife, Franny. Watch it, pass it on: