‘Comic’ finalist Mike DeStefano dies at 44

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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