I watched a Tribute on Comedy Central last night and it was dedicated to the late Greg Giraldo. Giraldo was known for his his clever and hard core rants, his unique and brutal honesty when handed a microphone. Greg was loved and admired by fans and was said to be always generous, and always brilliantly funny. Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien,Sarah Silverman, Jim Gaffigan, Colin Quinn, Dave Attell and Lewis Black all shared behind the scenes stories, and insight as to who he was as a comedian and person and why he was the “truest” of them all.
Sharing the spotlight:
Many of the comics, say Giraldo was generous because he was “very vocal about giving them credit.” That was exceptionally cool of him. “He introduced us to a lot of the industry folks and helped get my profile on the map,” says Jesse Joyce.
It reminded me of the late Kurt Cobain as well, who was respected and admired by many, perceived as a sensitive, empathetic, thoughtful artist who battled similar demons, while dragging other bands into the spot light with him too.
Cobain showed appreciation of early alternative rock bands, like Sonic Youth and REM and dozens of other bands. Cobain was constantly championing unknown bands and the Meat Puppets appeared onstage during Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged appearance, to perform three songs from their second album. Most of Nirvana’s set consisted of “cover songs.”
Comedy Central Roasts and Nevermind:
Giraldo’s humor had a dark side, which he sometimes referenced in his stand-up act. He had been a heavy drinker, but Giraldo became a wildly successful stand-up comic touring the country as a headliner at many clubs and dispensing his own brand of sharp and often brutal humor, while Cobain sang and wrote songs, called “Rape Me, Come as you are and All Apologies.”
The comics said, “ We feel like he was a lethal combination of being wickedly smart, incredibly articulate, supremely confident on stage and not having a filter about what he was willing to reveal about himself to a group of strangers.” “But he was so brutal about his own issues, that it made him really vulnerable,” as Cobain sang chorus lines, “I think I’m dumb,” and “I’m stupid and contagious.”
” Butch Vig, who recorded Nevermind said, “Even though you couldn’t quite tell what Cobain was singing about, you knew it was intense as hell.” I have followed both men and I don’t think Greg would hide behind Cobain’s metaphors and I don’t feel Cobain ever attacked with humor, but both men never took short cuts. Both men were obviously vulnerable, powerfully authentic and undeniably popular.
There have already been numerous books and movies about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana but this is Giraldo’s first tribute, since his death. The Comedy Special celebrated the life of a modern hero, a groundbreaking comedic voice and the impact he left on his peers and fans.
Giraldo died at 44 last September and Cobain would be 44 years old today as well.