Punchline Magazine is reporting some sad news in the comedy world this morning: Mike DeStefano, last seen on the latest season of Last Comic Standing, died last night at the age of 44. DeStefano grew up in the Bronx, and has since overcome heavy drug addiction and the death of his wife. He was living with HIV, but told Marc Maron on a recent episode of WTF that the disease wasn't affecting his body in the way it normally does, and that scientists were running tests to figure out why that was.

Much of DeStefano's life was chronicled in his one-man show Drugs, Diseases, And Death: A Comedy, which completed a sold-out run and was getting ready for a remount starting this Wednesday in New York. DeStefano's "tough guy" persona on LCS wasn't an act: The man lived a hard life, and was on the brink of taking his career to the next level.