All Quiet on the Western Front trailer from Netflix
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Comedian Michael Lehrer died at the age of 44, his family has said. The Second City performer died on Tuesday following a six-year battle with the neurological disease ALS.
The comic’s partner and caregiver Colette Montague said it was the “hardest decision” for the performer, who was terminally ill, and chose to end his life with the assistance of a doctor.
“Michael died with dignity on his own terms,” she told the Chicago Sun Times. “Medical aid in dying was the hardest decision he ever made.”
He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2017 – a disease that affects nerve cells in the body.
ALS is the most common form of motor neurone disease.
There is no cure for the disease and people with the disease lose the ability to control muscle movements, including the ability to speak, swallow and breathe.
The comedian continued to perform and made dozens of appearances on the Joe Rogan podcast “Kill Tony.”
During his stand-up routines, he often referred to his battle with ALS.
“I have ALS,” Michael previously said. “One question: Where the f*** did all that ice bucket money go?”
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He also noted his TV bingeing habit and observed, “Netflix is the best thing that happened to disabled people since in-call hookers!”
Tributes have since poured in for the comedian as his colleagues and fans offered their condolences.
Rogan posted on Instagram: “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.
“He was a real legend, and I’m going to miss him very much.
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“Repost: @killtonyshow We knew it was coming yet there are still no words for it. What a human. He truly lived to make you all laugh. Rest easy our dear @michael_lehrer_als.”
Seth Weitberg also paid tribute to the late comedian.
He said: “He was just a total fireball, and willing to do absolutely whatever for comedy.
“In the 20 years I’ve known him, he spent about half that time with his shirt off for a joke.”
Chris Witaske, who also performed at the Second City theatre, penned: “He (Lehrer) was always up for anything and loved nothing more than making people laugh.”
The Second City theatre also paid tribute to Michael.
A statement said: “The Second City is sad to report the passing of alum Michael Lehrer.
“He helped create four original sketch revues for The Second City, including the Jeff Award winner for Best Revue, Sky’s The Limit (Weather Permitting).
“Rest in peace Michael.”
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