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Comedian Greg Giraldo arrives at the "Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers" in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Comedian Greg Giraldo, a judge on "Last Comic Standing" and Comedy Central network staple, died Wednesday, four days after suffering a drug overdose. He was 44.
“The tragic news of Greg’s passing hits us very, very hard," Comedy Central said in a statement to EW. "Greg has been a close member of the Comedy Central family for years, injecting his energy and wicked sense of humor into countless projects. The comedy community lost a brother today. Our thoughts are with his family.”
His longtime friend, comedian Jim Norton, also tweeted news of his death, accompanied by a photo of the pair taken June 28.
"RIP buddy," he wrote.
The Queens-born comic and father of three, who recently helped roast David Hasselhoff on Comedy Central, was also a Columbia and Harvard Law School educated-lawyer, E! Online reported.
He was found unresponsive during a party at his hotel Saturday in East Brunswick, New Jersey and rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the New York Post reported.
"It was an accidental overdose, and he is in critical condition," a source at Giraldo's management company, The Collective, told the Post. Sources said he appeared to have overdosed on prescription pills.
The Collective released a statement to Punchlinemagazine.com Wednesday calling Giraldo a "genius comedic talent who was revered, admired and loved by our comedy community."
The company said it was postponing a planned comedy showcase in Los Angeles Wednesday "out of respect to Greg’s family."
A host of celebrities also paid tribute to Giraldo online after learning of his death.
"RIP Greg Giraldo. Belly-laugh hilarious, prolific, good & kind. A thousand oys can't express," tweeted comedian Sarah Silverman.
"Really sad to learn about Greg Giraldo," added Hasselhoff on the microblogging site. "He was a funny guy and was great on the roast. RIP, Greg..."