Former Saturday Night Live writer and Kids in the Hall producer, Joe Bodolai, was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel on Monday. TMZ reported that the cleaning staff discovered his body along with a bottle of antifreeze and Gatorade, suggesting that the 63-year old, who worked with many big names in comedy, took his own life.
The suspected suicide came days after a post (Dec. 22) on his Facebook page, where he wrote, “I’m alone this year and am volunteering serving Christmas dinner to the homeless. Perhaps I will be one, but I love all of you and if I make it to next year let’s make it a morally, spiritually, better and funnier year.” On Dec. 23, he published an incredibly long and detailed post on his website, titled “If This Were Your Last Day Alive What Would You Do?” On Christmas Eve, he tweeted a link to his post with a simple note: “Godbye.” [sic]
Under a heading “Things I Regret,” he wrote, “That I am no longer able to withstand any more of life’s pain.” Bodolai, who helped co-write the first draft of Wayne’s World with Mike Myers, also listed events he foresees for 2012 (another Snooki “book”); and things he would have liked to have seen in his life, like “young people mobilizing for change instead of watching E!”
Bodolai was an accomplished comedic talent. He wrote sketches for SNL from 1981-82 and helped push Kids in the Hall to a second season in the early 90s. A lover of Canadian comedy, he created Comics! for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, a half-hour stand-up comedy series focusing on a different comic every episode. Sean Cullen, Bonnie McFarlane and Mark Farrell are only a few of the names Bodolai brought to the series. After Comics!, he played a sizable role in creating The Comedy Network (Canada’s version of Comedy Central) and coordinating the Gemini Awards in Canada. It was important to Joe for comedic minds to be the showrunners, rather than who he called “form fillers,” suits who did not understand the artform of making people laugh. His work helped create a more talent-run industry in the Great White North. Most recently, he performed charity work, assisting with Mercy Corps, IRC, OxFam, and NRDC (he pleads in his website post, “Please people, look them up. Help.”).
On Dec. 2, perhaps unrelated, he tweeted a photo of his wrist, adorned with a Los Angeles-area hospital bracelet. He wrote, “miss you guys. back soon.”
In his passionate, bullet-pointed post, he lists his inability to overcome his struggle with alcoholism among his regrets, as well as his difficulty conforming to a frustrating entertainment industry in the US. It’s worth noting, however, that the list of what he was proud of in life is substantially fuller (both in size and content) than his list of regrets. Alongside his professional accomplishments, he also lists his two grown sons and his more-than-20-year relationship with his ex-wife Bianca in his list of accomplishments.
He also speaks lovingly about “Cherie,” who seems to have been his most recent girlfriend, though based on the use of “alone” in the aforementioned Facebook status, the couple may have broken up. He doesn’t include her last name, but it seems “Cherie” is actress Cherie Thibodeaux, (pictured to the right) who’s appeared in short comedy videos that he produced and directed. You can see three of his videos on Funny Or Die.
He writes at the end, “I don’t need replies or comments…I need to feel the good that I did…May you all have the happy lives you deserve. Thank you all for being in my life.”
Joe Bodolai did good. And he did it well.