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Ex-'SNL' writer Joe Bodolai had fallen on hard times, friends say

People who worked with former "Saturday Night Live" writer Joe Bodolai said they were saddened but not entirely surprised that he apparently took his own life in a Hollywood hotel room earlier this week.

The friends described Bodolai as a brillant comedy writer and generous man who had fallen on hard times.

"He was a pretty unhappy guy,” Canadian comedy entrepreneur Mark Breslin told the Globe and Mail of Toronto. “I think he was a victim of the ageism in the comedy business and show business, especially in Los Angeles .... You have a man who’s really talented at something and then he’s given nothing to do. That can only be the start of something bad."

Bodolai, who co-wrote the first draft of "Wayne's World" with Mike Myers, was found dead the day after Christmas. Coroner's officials confirmed Tuesday that Bodolai, 63, was found in a hotel in the 1700 block of Whitley Avenue at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said the death was reported as a suicide, but he had no further details on the circumstances. An autopsy is pending.

PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2011

Coroner's Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said that a bottle of antifreeze and a bottle of Gatorade were recovered from the hotel room. There was no indication of foul play, Harvey said.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said no suicide note was found in the hotel room, but Bodolai had posted what appears to be a farewell message on his blog on Dec. 23. In the post, entitled "If This Were Your Last Day Alive, What Would You Do?" the writer listed "Things I Regret" -- including "my inability to conquer my alcoholism," not fighting harder to stay with Canada's Comedy Network, and "Most of all, the pain I have caused and am now causing my sons and the love of my life, my ex-wife Bianca." Bodolai spent much of his career working in Canada.

He also listed "Things I Am Proud Of," including his sons, Vietnam War-era activism, and his work as a writer for "SNL" in the early 1980s and producer for the Canadian comedy show "Kids in the Hall." 

He concluded: "May you all have the happy lives you deserve. Thank you all for being in my life."

On his Facebook page the day before, Bodolai posted, "I'm alone this year and am volunteering serving Christmas dinner to the homeless. Perhaps I will be one, but I love all of you and if I make it to next year let's make it a morally, spiritually, better and funnier year."

Canadian comedy writer Luciano Casimiri told the Globe & Mail he was distressed by his friend's death but “I’m not shocked at all."

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-- Abby Sewell and Shelby Grad

 
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