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:



  1. AJ says:

    RIP, its all i got.

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (#)

  2. Jason Good says:

    Thanks for sharing Eugene…Your support helped him realize that he didn’t have to perform for morons. Here’s something I wrote about him today as well.

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm (#)

  3. treece says:

    Thanks for this, Mr. Mirman. Mike was special. Big loss for all.

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm (#)

  4. miss al boogie says:

    So sad he’s gone so young. Thanks for this post Eugene.

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:20 pm (#)

  5. nick says:

    I just got to Mike’s episode of WTFpod last week. it was so touching that I did whatever I could to get everyone I knew, everyone who remembered him from last comic standing and could tell that there was something unexpectedly wonderful about his comedy that LCS just wasn’t designed to showcase, to listen. if anyone reading this hasn’t, go listen.

    I was so excited for a time when he would be back at pretty good friends, and I’m crushed in a way that seems inappropriate for the death of someone I didnt know personally.

    as an atheist, I really hope there is a heaven for this man.

    March 8th, 2011 at 4:29 pm (#)

  6. Patty Pino says:

    Mr. Mirman – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this video. Although I never knew Mike personally, I appreciated his honest commitment to comedy and it is very sad that he is gone. Whatever your beliefs, his story makes one feel like he and his wife are again united on a beautiful freedom ride.

    March 8th, 2011 at 5:03 pm (#)

  7. Zanne Kamp says:

    Thanks for posting this video, I had no idea. Last Comic Standing did not do this man’s talent/history any justice. He was a very nuanced storyteller – and it takes some big balls to lay it out like that.

    March 8th, 2011 at 9:08 pm (#)

  8. Matt says:

    I went to Union Hall in January with the hopes of seeing Mike at ‘Pretty Good Friends.’ Unfortunately, I was late and the show was sold out. I decided to hang out there by the merch table for a minute and Mike walked out to prep for his set. I told him I was there to see him (we’d never met before), but that the show was sold out. He told me to wait and that he’d see what he could do. After a bit, he told the guy in charge(not Eugene): “This is my friend Matt and he needs to get in…” So I stepped in and I don’t think anyone laughed harder that night at his set.

    He was fearless and I’ve never seen a comic own a room the way he did. He could have easily just gave me a look like “beat it, kid,” but that’s not the kind of man he was. Just wanted to share that. He’s left his mark – his influence and work will live on.

    March 8th, 2011 at 9:30 pm (#)

  9. Paul David Mena says:

    This video was positively riveting. That a tough guy like Mike could allow himself to be so vulnerable is truly amazing. Thank you so much for posting this.

    March 9th, 2011 at 12:04 am (#)

  10. Brett H. Robinson says:

    I was so happy that I remembered to look up your website and then I scroll down to find this…this video was beyond amazing. I enjoyed Mike’s brutal honesty and sense of humor. He will be missed indeed. RIP

    June 7th, 2011 at 8:06 am (#)

  11. William Lee says:

    I am JUST hearing about this and I am VERY sad. I only spoke to Mike a few times, but he was the nicest and realest guy. He was a great talent and will be missed.

    August 20th, 2011 at 1:17 am (#)

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