Explored HIV and drug abuse in his standup

Comedian Mike DeStefano, who was one of the five finalists on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” last season, died Sunday of a heart attack in New York City. He was 44.

DeStefano had most recently finished a run of shows called “Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy,” based on his own experiences as an HIV-positive individual and a former drug abuser. It also concerned his wife’s death.

Born in the Bronx, DeStefano began using heroin when he was 15, according to his website. He worked as a drug counselor after getting clean and before becoming a standup comedian.

The comic finished fourth in the “Last Comic Standing” competition. He was scheduled to perform his one-man show “A Cherry Tree in the Bronx” in New York in the coming days.

“Last Comic Standing” judge Greg Giraldo died in September after overdosing on prescription medication.

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