Comedian Famous for Harsh Drug Addiction Routine Dies

March 9, 2011

Stand-up comedian Mike DeStefano was just beginning to make his mark on the world after coming in fourth in a recent season of “Last Comic Standing.’ He even had a one man show in New York and was about to open a new one: “A Cherry Tree in the Bronx’ at Barrow Street Theater in NYC. Unfortunately, DeStefano died this month after suffering a heart attack, according to

Drug Addiction and Comedy

It doesn’t seem intuitive that the two would go together, but DeStefano was famous for his dry, self-deprecating humor that often highlighted the harsh world of drug addiction. Audiences appreciated his take as well as experience with the disease. DeStefano often told anecdotes about his life and addiction issues in the one man show he performed at The Producers’ Club in New York, “Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy.’

With a heroin addiction that began at the age of 15, DeStefano was no stranger to the pain and problems brought about by living with an active addiction. He lost his wife and he contracted HIV, and discussed those issues as well on stage. His humor had a way of making audiences stop and listen -then laugh. He seemed to be a comedian who didn’t sugar coat things in an effort to reach those who needed to hear how he recovered from the disease and to make people aware of two things: terrible things happen due to drug addiction and it is possible to recover and create a good life for yourself despite that.

Helping Others in Addiction by Doing What You Love

Perhaps the greatest gift that DeStefano left behind was his great example. Through comedy, he found a way to do what he loved best, remain honest and true to himself and still give back. Many who heard his comedy were supportive of his recovery and found inspiration in his jokes.

It’s something that everyone in recovery should strive to do after they have built a foundation for themselves after addiction: help others in a way that makes you happy. You don’t have to be a performer whose subject matter is drug addiction in order to provide outreach to the community -but that’s certainly one way to do it. You can work any customer service job and be honest and friendly with the people you come in contact with. You can be a counselor, a medical professional or even volunteer your services at an outreach program that you appreciate. Teachers, security guards, street cleaners and professional can all be a positive influence on others in their community by just being an open, honest person with good listening skills. Find something that you love to do and you’ll have a much easier time remaining dedicated to your recovery and finding the stamina within to serve others and provide them with the same inspiration offered by DeStefano.

If you would like to learn more about drug addiction treatment or sober living services after drug rehab, contact us at Michael’s House today.

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