By Lindsey Bahr | Related Press
LOS ANGELES — Rip Taylor, the madcap mustached comic with a keenness for confetti-throwing who grew to become a tv sport present mainstay within the 1970s, has died. He was 84.
Taylor died Sunday in Beverly Hills, publicist Harlan Boll mentioned.
The person who would develop into recognized worldwide as Rip didn’t have a direct line into present enterprise. He was born Charles Elmer Taylor Jr. in Washington, D.C., to a waitress and a musician and first labored as a congressional web page earlier than serving within the Military in the course of the Korean Struggle, the place he began performing standup.
His ascent started with spots on “The Ed Sullivan Present,” the place he was often called the “crying comic.” The moniker pre-dated his tv stints, nevertheless, and went again to his time within the Catskills.
“I sat on a stool telling jokes, and no person was laughing,” he advised UPI in 1992. “In desperation, I pretended to cry as I begged them to giggle. That killed ’em.”
It’s the place he mentioned the character “Rip” got here from.
Though he readily admitted stealing jokes from USO reveals, the crying comic bit bought him to Ed Sullivan, the place the host — forgetting Taylor’s title — would say “get me the crying comic.”
Success begat extra success, and Taylor ended up on tour with Judy Garland and Eleanor Powell in Las Vegas in 1966.
In his over 5 a long time in leisure, Taylor would make over 2,000 visitor star appearances on reveals like “The Monkees,” ”The Merv Griffin Present,” ”The Tonight Present,” ”Late Night time with David Letterman,” ”Hollywood Squares” and “The Gong Present.” He additionally hosted the wonder pageant spoof “The $1.98 Magnificence Present.”
Along with his bushy blonde toupee, exaggerated eyebrows and walrus-like mustache, Taylor was a hanging presence. He was apparently so happy with his star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame that he’d frequently schedule journeys to buff and clear the sq. at 6625 Hollywood Boulevard.
Taylor additionally did a justifiable share of voice work for animated movies and tv like “The Jetsons” and “The Addams Household,” as Uncle Fester, which earned him an Emmy nomination.
He performed himself in films like “Wayne’s World 2” and the “Jackass” films, appeared on stage in “Something Goes,” ”A Humorous Factor Occurred on the Approach to the Discussion board,” ”Sugar Infants,” the place he took over for Mickey Rooney, as Fagin in “Oliver!” and Captain Hook in “Peter Pan.” Taylor additionally wrote and carried out an autobiographical one-man play referred to as “It Ain’t All Confetti.”
Taylor mirrored in that very same 1992 interview that he at all times thought of himself an actor.
“Rip is humorous as a result of he’s loopy. Each evening on stage, he’s cornered and put-upon,” Taylor mentioned. “That’s what I’m bringing into play as a straight actor.”
He’s survived by his longtime associate Robert Fortney. In lieu of flowers, they ask that donations be made to the Thalians, a charitable group that Taylor supported that’s devoted to psychological well being points.