Mike DeStefano

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Mike DeStefano
Born(1966-11-29)November 29, 1966
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 6, 2011(2011-03-06) (aged 44)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2000–2011

Mike DeStefano (November 29, 1966[1][2][3][4] – March 6, 2011) was an American stand-up comedian. He used material from his heroin addiction, which began at age 15, and his recovery in brutally honest, profanity-laced routines. He was also a drug counselor to others.


His first gig was in Florida, and that convinced him there was something to live for, and that he had options outside of taking his own life. His second gig was at a Narcotics Anonymous convention in Atlanta, Georgia, where he stepped before the microphone after a rained-out pool party and started ranting about drugs.[5]

A regular at clubs in New York and around the country, DeStefano gained popularity after appearing on television on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. He also appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Showtime's Whiteboyz in the Hood and other radio and television shows, and at popular comedy festivals, most notably US Comedy Arts Festival and Montreal's Just for Laughs festival. In 2010, he competed in the seventh season of NBC's Last Comic Standing and finished in fourth place.[5][6]

On October 9, 2010 DeStefano appeared with Jim Norton, Rich Vos and Robert Kelly in the Comedy Central stand-up special "Comics Anonymous"; all four comedians appearing in the special were former addicts who had been clean and sober for 10 years or more. DeStefano was also an executive producer on the special, which was dedicated to their friend, comedian Greg Giraldo, who had died of a drug overdose in September.

Personal life[edit]

DeStefano's wife, Franny, died of AIDS, which he talks about in "The Junkie and the Monk", recorded for The Moth on Jan 23, 2009.[7]


On March 6, 2011, Mike DeStefano died as a result of a heart attack. His death came hours after filming a video for funnyordie.com. DeStefano's funeral was held three days later on March 9 as well as March 10 at the Schuyler Hill Funeral Home in New York.

Unfinished projects[edit]

DeStefano's death came just days before he was scheduled to perform his one-man show, A Cherry Tree in the Bronx, in New York. He had just finished a run of shows titled Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy, which was largely based on being HIV positive, his past drug addiction and his wife Fran's death several years earlier after her drug addiction and affliction with AIDS.[6][8]



  1. ^ "Comedian Mike DeStefano dead at 44". United Press International, Inc. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  2. ^ Dinh, James (7 March 2011). "'Last Comic Standing' Finalist Mike DeStefano Dead At 44". MTV Networks. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  3. ^ Baldwin, Stephen (7 March 2011). "Comedian Mike DeStefano dead at 44". National Post. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  4. ^ Eadicicco, Lisa (7 March 2011). "Mike DeStefano, 'Last Comic Standing' finalist, dead at 44 from heart attack". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Hevesi, Dennis (8 March 2011). "Mike DeStefano, Stand-Up Comic, Is Dead". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. A20. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  6. ^ a b Today Staff and Wire (7 March 2011). "Comedian Mike DeStefano dies". MSNBC Interactive. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  7. ^ "The Junkie and the Monk". The Moth. Retrieved Jan 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Shira, Dahvi (7 March 2011). "Mike DeStefano Dies". People. Time Inc. Retrieved 31 October 2011.

External links[edit]