Michael Lehrer, a comedian and improv actor recognized for his work in ‘Second City’ and ‘Masters of the Internet’, took his last breath after battling ALS. This progressive nervous system disease affects the functioning of the brain and spinal cord, resulting in a loss of muscle control.
His death news was confirmed by his girlfriend and partner, Colette Montague, who was his caretaker. Colette told the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Michael died with dignity on his own terms. He was not suicidal at all. … Medical aid in dying was the hardest decision he ever made.”
At the time of his death, Lehrer was survived by his girlfriend, Colette, son Colin Heaton, and some other family members.
The comedian and sketch artist are truly passionate about his work, as he performed in a wheelchair at clubs due to his struggle with ALS. His bits include jokes about his battle with the nervous system disease and also about his life.
At the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Lehrer was selected for the ‘New Faces of Comedy’ showcase in 2014. He created four original sketch revues, including the Jeff Award winner for Best Revue and Sky’s The Limit for The Second City. Lehrer also regularly shared his opinion on different topics in open forum sessions at Las Vegas City Council meetings during his time at Second City Las Vegas.
Lehrer frequently appeared on “Kill Tony”, a live comedy podcast based in Austin, Texas, in which Joe Rogan often appeared. Rogan also paid tribute to him in his Instagram post.
“The courage this man had to do stand up while battling a debilitating disease was insanely impressive, and though he struggled to get words out the man would KILL onstage,” Rogan said. “He was a real legend, and I’m going to miss him very much.”