By Kaitlin MacRae
At first glance, comedian Greg Giraldo may come off as the type of guy who could throw a few punches. But a few minutes into conversation, his talent and obvious gift for comedy become evident, and the nice guy he is shines through.
Giraldo performed for a packed BLC Theater last Friday, Nov. 6, as part of Family Weekend.
He found a home and loyal following in the comedy community after quitting his job as a lawyer.
“I was very young and didn’t know what the hell I was doing,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t stay a lawyer. I was awful at it. I just started doing open mics and I fell in love with stand-up right away. The rest is history.”
In true comedic fashion, Giraldo was quick to crack a joke in an interview about his decision to enter the comedy world.
“If you read the New Testament carefully, it pretty much directs everyone to get into stand-up comedy,” Giraldo said. “That, or carpentry. Or roller derby. Roller derby tends to be more popular among women, so I just chose comedy.”
Since starting his career, Giraldo has appeared on numerous Comedy Central shows including Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil and Last Laugh, and has even had his own half-hour special on Comedy Central Presents.
Giraldo is also a regular on the Comedy Central roasts, which feature celebrities ripping on other celebrities. Past roasts include Flavor Flav, Pamela Anderson, Larry the Cable Guy, William Shatner and Bob Saget.
“A roast is where we celebrate someone by making fun of them,” he said. “They were all fun to do. Pam Anderson was pretty interesting because there were a bunch of cool rock ’n’ roll type of people floating around, which were cool to meet. It was pretty wild to see Courtney Love [widow of the late Kurt Cobain] violate her probation on stage.”
Giraldo has also performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In addition to these and other guest spots on TV shows like Last Call with Carson Daly, he has also released a DVD, Midlife Vices.
“[The DVD] was the first full hour that I shot in a theater,” Giraldo said. “It’s a special that we shot and produced ourselves and sold to Comedy Central. It would’ve been a bummer if we hadn’t [sold it] because I’d have a very expensive home videotape of myself.”
The father of three will travel to the West Coast come December. He admits the constant travel can be a bit wearing, but ultimately pays off.
“I’m always on tour, all the time,” Giraldo said, adding that he always makes sure to take local gigs to see his family. “I mix it up. I have kids so [it’s nice to be] home with [them] for a couple days.”
Before taking the stage in the BLC, Giraldo mused about performing at colleges.
“Half the time [the crowd is] just happy to not have to remember anything you’re saying.”