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Stalled Career, Ageism Drove Ex-SNL Writer to Suicide

Wayne's World writer Joe Bodolai found dead in Hollywood hotel room
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2011 4:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Joe Bodolai's long career in show business came to a sad end in a Hollywood hotel room. The 63-year-old comedy writer and TV producer was found dead the day after Christmas, having apparently committed suicide by drinking a mixture of antifreeze and Gatorade. Bodolai, who wrote for Saturday Night Live and co-wrote Wayne's World, left a final blog post in which he said one of his biggest regrets was his inability to conquer his alcoholism.

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Bodolai also said he regretted leaving Canada, where he arrived in the late '60s as a draft resister and helped build the country's comedy scene, launching the careers of comedians including Mike Myers and the Kids in the Hall. Canadian comedy entrepreneur Mark Breslin, a longtime friend of Bodolai's, says he is "not entirely surprised" by the death, adding that his friend was the victim of ageism in the comedy business. "You have a man who’s really talented at something and then he’s given nothing to do,” he tells the Globe and Mail. “That can only be the start of something bad." (Read more Saturday Night Live stories.)

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