Rick Shapiro (born April 13, 1969) is a Los Angeles-based comedian. He first gained attention in the stand-up scene based around the Lower East Side in New York. Rick has a twin brother, Rob He was a mainstay in the underground comedy scene for years, performing a regular Wednesday night set at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York until his role on Louis C.K.'s HBO sitcom Lucky Louie helped him reach a wider audience. Shapiro is known for his ability to improvise, making up much of his trademark long sets on the spot. Shapiro has spoken openly about his younger years when he first became addicted to heroin and resorted to male prostitution to support his habit. He speaks about this troubled past in his comedy, making light of what many comedians see as a difficult topic. Shapiro performs regularly at clubs in New York such as The Comedy Village, the Sidewalk Cafe, Comic Strip Live, the Laugh Lounge, and Comix. He now performs in both the Los Angeles and New York comedy circuits. He performs weekly at Vlad the Retailer in Los Angeles. In 2007, Shapiro made a popular UK debut, receiving favourable reviews for his one-man Edinburgh Festival show, produced by Calvin Wynter at The Green Room. In 2008 he was in Grand Theft Auto IV on the radio station PLR, portraying Mason Waylon who is a guest on a talk show on the radio, and eventually drills holes in the heads of the two other guests. In 2010 he was in a scene originally filmed for the pilot of Louie that ended up as a deleted scene for Season 1, a scene in which he goes on one of his acclaimed rants. In March of 2012 his first book, titled Unfiltered, was released along with his second CD, CATALYST FOR CHANGE, produced by Stand-Up Records. The book, published by Paradisiac Publishing, is a compilation of over 200 previously unreleased writiings. As well Shapiro played the role of 'T-Rick' in the movie 'PROJECT X' which was released on March 2, 2012. On Friday, April 13 2012, Shapiro’s birthday, he suffered a mild cardiac event exacerbated by a hypersensitivity to prescribed medication. Shapiro's manager, Tracy DeMarzo, explained that Rick has been sober for 25 years and says that illegal drugs had absolutely nothing to do with this health scare “This was a fluke, an unfortunate event,” she says. “It could have happened to anyone.” Shapiro left the hospital on April 27, 2012 but was readmitted on April 30, 2012 due to further medical complications. He was released from hospitalization on June 12th, 2012. On April 25, 2013, Shapiro was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder that attacks the central nervous system.