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Friends 'Not Surprised' By Tragic End, Tributes Roll In

Date December 28, 2011
Friends 'Not Surprised' By Tragic End, Tributes Roll In

The suicide of Joe Bodolai, the comedy veteran who killed himself in Los Angeles over the holiday weekend, has sparked conversation amongst his former colleagues, friends and those on the web wishing to chime in, for better or worse.

Bodolai's suicide does not come as a surprise to some of his friends and former colleagues.

The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and "Kids In The Hall" producer, friend and Canadian comedy collaborator Mark Breslin told the Toronto Globe and Mail, "was a pretty unhappy guy." Further, Breslin said, "I think he was a victim of the ageism in the comedy business and show business, especially in Los Angeles."

In his final blog post, which has been taken as a sort of suicide note, Bodolai lists "Leaving Canada" and "Moving to Los Angeles" as two of his primary regrets.

"You have a man who's really talented at something and then he's given nothing to do," Breslin continued. "That can only be the start of something bad."

In the comments section of Bodolai's blog post, a fierce debate has broken out over his tragic choice. A touching post from a friend from the Canadian comedy scene -- where Bodolai started the show "Comics!," produced "Kids in the Hall" and helped start the CTV Comedy Network -- expressed regret for not getting in touch with him before his suicide.

"Joe - thanks so much for everything. After working with you just a few days, I always knew I could drop by your office at the CBC when you were there," actor/writer Marcel St. Pierre wrote. "You kept doors open for young upstarts like me wherever you were. For what it's worth, you were strangely popping up in my mind the last month or so. I kept meaning to touch base, because it had been years. I wish I had... but life is like that. You were and still are an inspiration for me, Joe. I'll be reading and re-reading your blog entries, kicking ass and taking names."

Another friend, Simon Fraser, wrote: "You were one of the wisest and most generous people I have ever had the fortune to know and work with. You gave me courage. You gave me freedom and the opportunity to express myself. You protected me from predators of the human spirit. The solace that I take from your life is knowing that I was not unique - you affected so many people in these ways."

On Tumblr, Canadian writer Joel West remembered his brief friendship with Bodolai, which started over Twitter. Bodolai was kind and tried to help, and was apologetic that he could not do more for West's career.

"I can identify with Joe in the sense that I was a fellow Canadian in LA," West wrote. "Joe's success in the industry far eclipsed mine and I am certain that he felt that returning to Canada as anything but a conquering hero would translate to failure. It's not that he couldn't return to Canada. It's that he didn't have anything in Canada to return to."

Canadian TV producer John Brunton, who was name-checked in Bodolai's blog, told The Globe and Mail, "He was an all-star. But as he got older, some of that started to fade. And that's hard for anybody to cope with."

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