Greg Giraldo was 44.

Very sad to hear about the passing of comedian Greg Giraldo, who died Wednesday after what reportedly was an accidental overdose of prescription drugs over the weekend. He was a father of three and had a history of substance abuse problems, but had talked about being sober in recent years.

Giraldo, 44, was probably best known as a judge on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” He also made many notable appearances over the years on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien’s shows, Colin Quinn’s “Tough Crowd” on Comedy Central and a host of Comedy Central roasts, including the recent one to David Hasselhoff.

Giraldo was an amazing comedian, witty, dark and profane, a graduate of Harvard law school who quit being an attorney to follow his heart and perform onstage. He also had the greatest 3-day beard growth since Sonny Crockett. I think I first heard Giraldo back in the mid-’90s on Alex Bennett’s morning show on Live 105, and I saw his standup act in San Francisco years ago. The guy was hysterical. He’ll be missed by anyone who loves to laugh.

Here’s a sampling of Giraldo’s standup comedy (warning, language NSFW):

Here he is at the Hasselhoff roast (warning, language NSFW):

To check out a fascinating 10-year-old Esquire story about his decision to leave his legal career behind, click here.

For Comedy Central’s tribute, click here.

And click here for the NY Times obituary.