Sometimes when I think real hard about it, I think that the universe must hate good comedians. Just when a comedian seems to be doing really well for himself, making people laugh, making the world that much more bearable for the common folk, they die young and only leave us with Youtube videos of their comedic accomplishments. Lets take a good look at ten comedians that left us while we were still laughing. And try not to be sad about it.
10. Patrice O’Neal
While the only shows he had recurring roles on were Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Shorties Wathin’ Shorties, Patrice did a lot of guest appearances on such critically acclaimed shows such as Arrested Development, The Office, and Chappelle’s Show. Patrice just always had this way of getting me to laugh my ass off, so it’s a goddamn tragedy that he died so soon. I also can’t believe that I’ll have to keep watching The Roast of Charlie Sheen over and over again just because it’s his last TV appearance. Maybe it’ll just make me too angry since everybody was making fun of his diabetes. But anyway, good night, sweet prince.
9. Andy Kaufman
Now, I hate the fact that I only learned about Andy Kaufman because of the Jim Carrey movie Man on the Moon, but it at least got me watching all of Andy’s stand-up and skits on Saturday Night Live. A lot of people are mixed about Andy’s brand of comedy, with it’s extremely awkward silences and the fact that you could never quite tell if he was being serious or joking around. Maybe he was just that brilliant.
8. Greg Giraldo
Greg Giraldo was just a fucking hilarious dude. When I have to describe what he acts like, the only thing I can think of is that he just acts like everybody’s uncle. He’s just that dirty, down-to-earth, cynical uncle that might get a little too close to your hot half-sister. Besides being “That Roast Guy,” he was also well known for his roles on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and the short lived Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil. He was the kind of comedian that you actually wanted to hang out with. Needless to say, I was actually pissed when I heard that he overdosed.
7. Phil Hartman
Phil Hartman will always be one of my favorite cast members from Saturday Night Live. There’s something about his deep, radio voice that just makes you want to keep listening to him, not to mention his various roles on The Simpsons. Now, while most comedians die from diseases or drug-related incidents, Phil Hartman has the craziest death story of them all. He and his wife had been having problems, so she shot him, confessed to two people and brought them to the house, then she locked herself in her room and committed suicide. It’s just way too dramatic to be the end to one of the comedy greats.
6. Lenny Bruce
Now, Lenny Bruce might be a comedian that not too many of you are actually familiar with. His comedy may seem pretty tame for these days, but Lenny Bruce was such a fucking awesome dude that he was actually arrested for his comedy being too obscene. If those laws were still around today, you’d have cops standing outside of every comedy club, and half the programming on late night TV would be illegal.
5. Chris Farley
Since I’m a chubby, white male, I’ve gotten compared to Chris Farley many, many times. As a kid I would watch Black Sheep and Tommy Boy constantly, and I’d even watch Beverly Hills Ninja if I was feeling especially crazy. He was the kind of comedian that could make you laugh with just a look or a simple movement. Unfortunately he also died of a drug overdose, but he keeps living through his timeless comedy.
4. John Belushi
Now this guy was one of the funniest fucking motherfuckers that ever lived. We’ve all seen him in Animal House and we’ve all felt embarrassed by his brother Jim’s attempt to replace him by making his TV show According to Jim. He was just so ridiculous that sometimes you’d have to watch the same sketch two or three times before you were rolling on the floor and crying with laughter. Plus, nobody delivers an inspirational speech quite like he does.
3. Eddie Murphy
Okay, Eddie Murphy is alive, but he might as well have died with the way his career has been going. Did anybody even want to see Tower Heist? Sometimes, I’d like to forget that he survived after the Beverly Hills Cop movies and Coming to America. He’s had a few hits since then, like Bowfinger and the first Shrek movie, but seriously Eddie? Daddy Day Care? Norbit? Meet Dave? What the fuck, man.
2. Bernie Mac
Oh Bernie Mac, one of the Original Kings of Comedy. Honestly, when I first heard that Bernie Mac was dead, I just thought it was another internet prank getting tons of people to think that a celebrity died. I made jokes about it and denied it fervently until somebody pointed out to me that he was actually dead. I was actually more sad when I found out Bernie Mac died than when I heard Michael Jackson died. I just wish his posthumous movies were actually good.
1. Mitch Hedberg
I’ve quoted Mitch Hedberg more than any comedian ever. His deadpan humor and the fact that I think that he’s just constantly smoking the greatest weed ever grown just make him one of my absolute favorite comedians. He looks like the Kurt Cobain of comedy, so I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised when I found out he died. All of that’s irrelevant though, because he’s so fucking hilarious that when I watch clips from his stand up I completely forget that he isn’t around anymore.