Comedian Mike DeStefano dies

By | March 7, 2011 at 11:43 am | 89 comments | News | Tags: , , ,

Mike DeStefanoComedian Mike DeStefano, well respected for his brutally honest approach to stand-up comedy, passed away last night after suffering a heart attack.

DeStefano, who gained some mainstream success last year due to his final five stature in the most recent season of Last Comic Standing, was set to perform his one-man show A Cherry Tree in The Bronx on Wednesday at the Barrow Street Theater in New York City. He had just finished a run of sold-out shows, as he performed a similar show under the title Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy at the Producer’s Club Theater in New York.

The news of his death was confirmed to us by a friend of DeStefano’s famiy. DeStefano’s one-man show producer and longtime supporter Cringe Humor also Tweeted what seemed like a confirmation when their feed simply went live with the word “devastated.”

DeStefano, who was HIV positive, had overcome severe drug addiction and the death of his wife; a lot of his material, especially his new show, centered around these things.

We interviewed Mike a few months ago in Los Angeles during his run on Last Comic Standing. You get a great sense of who Mike was. Check it out. Our thoughts are with Mike’s family.

UPDATE: 2:25 PM EST

Mike’s management, 3 Arts Entertainment just sent us this statement:

We are indeed incredibly saddened by the loss of this amazing man. He had touched the lives of many with his unique brand of comedy and was looking forward to sharing the same with so many more. Mostly, we will all miss his huge heart and incredibly loving and selfless passion for people.

Our friend Mike DeStefano passed away on March 6.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Casas en mcallen

    This blog get some information about making happiness of people.

  • Joan Riviera

    R.I.P.

  • Michelle

    Very saddened to hear he’s gone from us. I saw him perform the week before his dealth in Minneapolis. He was so funny. We were front row center and was lucky enough to be included in his act. What a shame. He was very much a down to earth man.

  • Susan

    At Fred…our damn government is the crooks and they let most the drugs in this country! Are you without sin Fred! can you throw the stone! I very seriosly doubt it ! Im recovered drug addict! I used 4 years and been clean 2 and a half years….addiction doesnt make who you are; a person does…hell i worked harder fucked up than most I know that are sober!

  • jobob

    Mikey D always cracked me up and it was disheartening to hear of this death from my aides.

  • vinny pastorino

    Mike wert, you are entitled to your simple minded opinion but just know that Mr. Destefano was clean for 13 years and helped more people improve their lives in a single day than im sure you have in your entire boring life.

    Go join the westboro baptist church and hold up a “god hates fags” sign at a soldiers funeral.

    Jerk off.

  • Sandy

    Our whole family followed him on last comic standing and when we found out they were playing Cove Haven in Pa. we booked it in minutes. So funny… and the guys were so friendly and social before the show in the restaurant and after. His talents will be missed for sure… Our sympathies to his family…

  • Cait

    I was so saddened to find this out! I just recently discovered Mike DeStefano and found him absolutely hilarious. This is a sad day for comedy. Rest in Peace, Mike. Your legacy of laughter lives on.

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  • Jay

    Mikey D from 2005: (download here)

    http://www.mediafire.com/?w0121mijb4i018q

  • Lu

    sad. he was just living his life, and he did, in the words of Sinatra.. his way so to speak. Atleast his death not in vain. He died doing what he loved.

    I did not know you Mike, RIP. Your death clearly proves life is short. live life to the fullest.

  • Eileen

    This is shocking and so terrible. I saw Mike for the first time at Bananas Comedy Club on Saturday night and enjoyed his show so much that I spent Sunday googling him and watching his videos on YouTube. Then I read the news that he died and my heart was in my mouth…so sad, he was so talented and looked like he was only going to get better! I have to tell you though, I was sitting literally right in front of Mike at the show and he really didnt look too good. Very red, sweaty and kind of glassy eyed. Maybe he wasn’t feeling good before this happened…. RIP Mike.

  • Petey

    Hey Fred can you post your real name and link to where can find you?

    Petey from the Bronx

  • http://www.comedynorth.com Barb and Steve North

    We are so saddened by Mike’s death. He was truly a warm and caring man and a very funny one at that. He will be missed.

  • Meg

    Just saw him Saturday, March 5 at Banana’s Comedy Club. He was funny and very daring! It’s a shame when you get news like this, but it is also peaceful to know he is in his final resting place. No pain or worries. Rest in peace Mike.

  • http://www.lacyblu.com Lacyblu

    Mixed feelings here of sadness, shock, frustration, and anger…Mike was a wonderful man and a great comic…My prayers to his family…He will be remembered fondly…R.I.P. MIKE…

  • mike cookson

    Met mike in fells point baltimore 10 years ago. Invited him to winchesters on a thursday night show–always taking a chance when finding unknown comic–i was pleasantly suprised to discover this guy had amazing talent–i learned much from mike as a new comedian back then–.mike d was headlining with us regularly! He was also a decent human being–which can’t be taken for granted in show business! Today’s news shocked and saddened me! F fred your stupid and good night to all

  • http://doga03@aol.com Ed Mooney

    I don’t know this wert character but he is obviously not very educated on life we all have problems that sometimes lead to bad situations like drugs and alcohol, that doesn’t make them bad people get over it u DUMB FUCK

  • http://doga03@aol.com Ed Mooney

    Thats damn sad my friends and i went to see him at Bananas Sat. nite for a gymnastics fund raiser, i think we all needed a laugh, i know i did and he was the best and made my nite. I’ll never forget that nite . I shook his hand and thanked him. Little did i know he’d be gone the next day. I’ve been through some of what he went through so i know how tough it was for him. Thank u Mike it was a nite well needed, REST IN PEACE

  • sharon hogarth

    I met an Angel once..I surely did…Not no ordinary Angel…He had tatoos lived in the Bronx,chain smoked, rode motorcylces and cursed a lot!

    He hung out with gansters and drug addicts and the homeless and people with AIDS.

    He made everyone Laugh…

    I met an Angel Once….I surely did
    He told me …Let GOD OUT!

    a longtime freind
    I love you Mikee always

    You know!

  • Scott

    Mike was a big part of the aurora family & was loved & respected by all.who ever you are i loved to meet you face to face fred wert & see you tell me this to my face about mike. I”ve been clean for 23years because of people like mike that helped me while in program & he is a one of the reasons i am clean today.you will be missed but not forgotten RIP

  • Charley D.

    Sad news about Mikey. I first met Mike in the late 80′s down in Ft. Lauderdale, it was comic relief just watching him trying to run a meeting with all the F words… He was a Funny guy indeed. With all of the suffering and loss he endured before his wife died it was a miracle he hung on to his Recovery. He clearly had a Gift to translate his life into humor. I’m glad to have known him as a friend of mine.
    As for fred wert, just another classic case of Contempt Prior to Investigation.. RIP Mike

  • Lisa K.

    I have never in my life seen more people change their ideas for the positive, and understand reality more accurately, than after listening to and laughing with Mike D. for an hour. What a legacy. I know the wind is “blowing the death off” of him and Fran as they ride that Harley together again.

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  • Elizabeth Fiorelli

    Wow! So very sad! I just saw him Saturday night at Bananas. He was great! RIP

  • http://a-times.blogspot.com Mike DeStefano

    Wow! I saw him on “LCS” and thought he was pretty good. He had a hard edge which worked really well for him. I’m very sorry to hear this news..

  • Sherrie

    RIP Mike and keep them laughing on the other side… you are going to missed by many.

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  • Mike

    Fred Wert is a moron, drugs don’t create criminals, our unjust laws do. If you don’t want my money going to criminals, then legalize drugs.

  • Jordan

    If anyone has information about Mike’s funeral, please e-mail me with details. He is an old boyfriend of mine and I would cherish the opportunity to say goodbye.

  • GDK in DFW

    I preferred his visits to the SiriusXM studios with his appearances on the Opie and Anthony show — Last Comic Standing didn’t deliver the Mike I wanted (seemed a little guarded and forced).
    It would have been nice to see his material / routine evolve — but alas, we have to be satisfied with what he accomplished in his short time with us.

  • Comedian Jaime “El San Burro” Flores

    A GREAT pleasure to have met Mike and watch him perform during THE LAST COMIC STANDING TOUR SHOW in McAllen, Tx. Mike will always be in inspiration to me. Will be GREATLY missed.

  • http://cheekandbluster.com Derek Wood

    I only ever got to hear him on The Moth podcast, and then in his great interview on WTF with Marc Maron, but nevertheless I feel a loss at Mike’s death. Beyond being merely funny, the guy had a profound, warm humanity born of hard experience. His story was one that made all who heard it a little wiser, a little more respectful of our shared humanity. Mike DeStefano made a difference – and what more can any of us hope to do in our lives? Mike, you are and will continue to be missed.

  • Mike

    all I hear is F F F F…..
    what the heck you people missing about this garbage?
    what is wrong with you people?

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  • Epp

    LoL? This guy thinks he is just the shit… Full of himself like most ignorant yankees… LOL!!!!!! F.A.I.L.!!!!

  • Whitey

    Mike helped me get through the darkest period of my life when I was contemplating relapse or worse on a daily basis while going through a brutal divorce in LA while he was filming LCS-forced me out of my home daily and sat through his local comedy shows around town. Laughter-truly-is the best medicine-and his one man shows were the best. My stomach would literally hurt the following morning. As has been said here he had a heart of gold and would do anything to help another human being. Fred Wert-you better pray we never cross paths in this world.

  • Tim

    Fred Worm’s brain: 1 The Rest of the World : 1359548431

    Anyway, RIP Mike D.

  • http://www.recoverycomedy.com Recovery Comedy

    Man, this is so so sad. Mike, you were an amazing talented comedian. You will be missed. Thank you for giving us your light while you were here.

    http://www.recoverycomedy.com

  • Darius

    While I had enjoyed hearing his material over the years on XM 150, I, like several people here, was never introduced to Mike the man until I heard the WTF episode. One of the most insightful, inspiring conversations I have ever heard in my life. The motorcycle story was just beautiful.

    RIP Mike. You brought much joy and thought into the world.

  • Ginny

    SO very sad hearing this. First Greg Giraldo and now Mike DeStefano. Both such extremely funny guys. So great seeing them on LCS. RIP.

  • Brett

    Enough copy spent on that retard Fred Wurt.

    Fuckgetem’

    Today’s about Mike. Giant Heart to match his balls.
    Others fake it, he was the real deal.

    R.I.P. Mike DeStefano

  • Lisa

    Michael was my counselor in a drug treatment program 24 yrs. ago and so was his incredible late wife Fran.They both played a huge part in saving my life and had alot of heart.Michael was the real deal,what you saw was what you got.He had a raw honesty & truly had a heart of gold..He was a very fun guy with an insatiable curiosity about life.He wanted to try it all when I knew him.he asked me to teach him to play the piano,he took his entire caseload skiing when he got into the sport,he gave quite freely of himself.He lived for many years with HIV and despite all of the death around him from the too many people we knew with the diease ,he chose to live his life to the fullest and made his dreams come true.
    As for you Fred-You are a Fing idiot,the man you are talking about played a huge part in saving so many people’s lives a long time ago,something he never talked about.

  • giselle

    I JUST SAW HIM FRIDAY NIGHT :( ( I’M DEEPLY UPSET.
    I GOT TO HUG HIM AND TELL HIM HE’S AWESOME!

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  • Ray Combs

    A very nice and funny guy. Only met him once at he olive tree but he was cool and I was happy to watch his success.

    If we are forming a Posse to go after Fred Wert please keep me informed. I just can’t believe the ignorance of some people gosh.

    Come on Fred it’s not guys like Mike that cause crime and aid terrorists by feeding their addictions. Only black addicts do that. Any decent person knows this.

    Get your facts straight Fred and learn to respect those who have transcended.

    Farewell Mike…..

  • JR

    Fred Wert, your an asshole, ignorant F@$K! RIP Mike D!

  • http://www.bigscaryguy.com www.bigscaryguy.com

    Oh yeah, Fred Wurt; I’m gonna stab you if I ever find you. RIP Mike!

  • http://giacalini@yahoo.com DOROTHY CATALANO

    WHAT A GREAT TALENT HIM AND RICHARD JENI A CREDIT TO THE ITALIAN AMERICAN RACE IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN THIS GRUFF SUPER-DUDE OF CLARITY AND CHARM ON STAGE. HIS RHETORIC WILL ASTOUND YOU IF YOU DON’T KNOW HIM. HEAVEN MUST BE A FRIENDLIER PLACE. REAL DISARMING HANDSOME GUY. GLAD HE FOUND HIS PLACE IN THE SUN FOR A SHORT TIME IF ANY. GLAD TO HAVE KNOWN HIM ONLY AS A FAN RIP (I AM A GHOST WRITER OF LOTS OF THINGS) “WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW”

  • http://www.bigscaryguy.com Dave Pickett

    Fuck what-’fred wert said’ Mike DeStefano was an awesome comic and his death is a tragic loss to us all.

  • Marj Rowan

    Another great talent gone too soon. He was my favorite on Last Comic Standing. Grateful to have caught his act in person at Acme Comedy Co.

  • http://mrpjlanders.com PJ

    He was a great dude…funny fkn comic…broke all the showbusiness bullshit rules…did it his way..busted his ass 7 nights a week and became what he wanted…hope you brought the chocolate milk with ya…

  • http://www.chaseroper.com chase

    Fred sucks, but lets not turn this into a negative thread about an asshole.

    Mike, will be missed.

  • http://www.olypencomedy.com Steve!

    Mike D was one of the nicest, funniest, hard working guys in the biz and I’m glad to say that I had the chance to meet and talk to the man on a few occasions. I’m deeply saddened by the loss. The world lost a great comedian and all around great human being. R.I.P. Mike D, you’ll be missed.

    Also…

    Fred Wert is a piece of shit!

  • Christie Walsh

    What a fucking shame. Amazing guy. And absolutely kind. He went through a lot, but brought passion and experience to his comedy.

  • Leslie Hunt

    Fred Wurt- I think we all see what you were trying to say but you said it so poorly and chose a horrible avenue in which to do so. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is that you need to be a little more informed to make statements like that because your barely coherent thought is slightly embarrassing. People die every day and its often due to choices they have made at some point in their past. That doesn’t make it any less painful for those around them. Also, your belief that his heart attack was a direct result of drug use is purely speculation.
    You will be missed, Mike. Your approach to comedy was inspiring.

  • http://SicknessRadio.com Tommy DeVito

    Its always a shame when a comic dies, cause that means there is 1 less funny person in the world of miserable asswipes that can make us all laugh. I know when I die, no one will miss me, they will miss my comedy and my pure sense of being able to tell it like it is… I will talk more about Mike DeStefano tonight on my radio show from 8[pm till midnight EST on http://SicknessRadio.com

  • http://SicknessRadio.com Tommy DeVito

    Well if the heart attack didn’t kill him the HIV would have gotten him,,,, Rest In Peace brother!!!

  • Kate L

    Mike was an awesome comedien and really nice person. My Husband and I had the pleasure of watching him perform live last year at the Comedy Cellar in NY. We also got to spend time chatting with him after the show.. He was such a sweet, humble person. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP..
    Oh, and Fred Wert.. You’re an ass if there ever was one.. We’ll see about all the “nice” things people have to say about you after you pass.. jerk off…

  • Johnny Deluxe

    Fred Wurt…you are a fuckin’ scumbag! Fuckface..if i ever run into you, you’ll learn the meaning of struggle. Go fuck yourself and your mother!

  • http://www.myspace.com/joeadamsmusic Joe

    R.I.P. Mike, you were a true talent, so sad. I was really looking forward to seeing you sometime.

  • PatMc.

    I hope Fred wurt is gang raped this afternoon. Mike was what is possible when people contemplate change. You lonely prick

  • Doug fresh

    Wow Fred Wert! You sir are an asshole. No respect for the deceased. The funny thing is that most addicts are the most intelligent caring individuals and for you to organize all addicts under criminals just Goes to show how small your brain really is. Your opinion of addiction is criminal. Go get fucked.

  • caleb

    in some other dimension, Mike and Franny are riding together again…

  • A friend if mike

    Mike was one of the nicest ppl in the business and fred wert if half the population had a quarter of what he had to offer the world would be a better place mike will always have you in our hearts , a friend a fan and someone who will miss you …. Moshe

  • Ritter

    Profound loss. Mike Destefano was one of the kindest, gentlest most generous people I’ve ever known. He was personally inspiring to me on so many levels. We didn’t become friends, we just WERE friends from the moment we met… That’s the kind of guy he was. His heart probably gave out because it had too much love in it. I wish he was here to tell me how to make a hack bit like that funny, because Mike D was fucking hilarious. Thank you for all the laughs Mike.

  • Sean

    Sad News another comedian that passed while he was on the verge of further national notoriety and new height in his art form.

    I first caught wind of him during Showtime’s Whiteboyz in the Hood, where he stood out enough to merit discussion between my friends and I the next day. Then while taking a gander last month @ Cringe Humor, unfortunately now in retrospect I found out that i missed his one man show. It peaked my interest to find out what his new material was like via youtube. I was surprised by the growth of his persona and the frankness of the material, I was hooked

    Here’s one of my Favorites from Sept 09 @ The Comic Strip NYC

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRUU6Ln9b-U&feature=related

    R.I.P Mike

    P.S Go fuck yourself Fred Wert, assholes like you will die in obscurity trying and failing to be the funny guys in the sea of unfunny douches that need to be an Internet moralist with a “humorist” slant polluting every news article. Go back to jerking off Black dicks/white chick porn you repressed, small dick faggit

  • NCNYC

    Your humor and your light will be missed.

  • http://www.hivesave.com/hostgator.com Jon

    Wow, what horrible news. He was so funny and seemed like such a great guy. I teared up when he told the motorcycle story on WTF. So sad.

  • NCNYC

    CH, did you read Fred Wert’s post, totally inappropriate here. Fuk Fred Wert had right idea.

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  • Andy critchard

    Oh no! I was just listening to mike on an old WTF and I was looking forward to tracking down some recordings. He was definitely on my radar as a ‘one to watch’ in the future. I thought he had a beautiful old-time mix of the avuncular and the knuckular. He had me cracking up despite living a million miles away from his menaced references.
    Mike, you sounded so strong. I hope you’re booming someplace else now. R.I.P

  • http://www.thejerseyjerksshow.com The Jersey Jerks

    We are proud to be the last to interview him on our show last week, he was a true performer & pioneer. He will be missed, R.I.P. Mike.

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  • CH

    Dear fred wert said – You are an asshole! Spew your stupidity somewhere else, this is not the place for it.

  • CH

    R.I.P. :-(

  • Fuk Fred Wert

    Wow fred wert, can’t even wait until he is cold to drop that one? You sir are an asshole.

  • Cindy Semrau

    Oh, no! This is very sad news indeed. Prayers and peace to Mike’s friends and family. Rest in peace, Mike. We truly loved you.

  • http://youtube.com/Lawsoncomedy Lawson

    Jeez man, what a bummer. My jaw dropped when I read this headline. I was just getting into this guy and his career was really starting to gain momentum. R.I.P.

  • http://katinreallife.blogspot.com Kathy G

    I’m in shock. This guy was/is so so funny.. I was waiting to see him.. such a huge loss for the comedy community. RIP!

  • http://www.janetcaldwell.com/ Janet

    R.I.P. x

  • Scott

    Mike was one of my all time favorite comics. He had the unique ability to take truly trajic events that had happened in his life and somehow make them incredibly humorous by simply looking at them in another perspective. He will be greatly missed. RIP my friend. If Heaven isn’t that humorous now, I have a feeling it will be now that you’re there.

  • fred wert

    i liked him he was funny, saw him on LCStanding. but he was a drug addict and these people are criminals they supply billions to criminals. burglaries and mass chaos are the result of these bad people

  • taiki

    Never heard of him until I heard his story on WTF.

    What a heartbreaking tale. The guy was all heart. I’m sad I never got to see him live.

  • comedyfan

    so sad, what a funny, nice man. rip mike!

  • Tom

    Damn RIP

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