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Posts tagged as rip

Listen to the Final 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' with Harris Wittels

Scott Aukerman originally hadn't planned to release the latest episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! featuring Adam Scott, Chelsea Peretti, and Harris Wittels, but with the encouragement of his friends and those who knew Wittels before his tragic death last week, Aukerman ultimately decided to share the final Wittels CBB today. Aukerman's intro to the episode is an especially tough listen; here's an excerpt from it:

So a few days ago I didn't know if I wanted to even put out a show this week or put out a show next week, or, you know, even why continue? Why keep doing this stupid show? But in the conversation [...]

The Comedy Legends We Lost in 2014

We lost several funny people of note in 2014, but the year was a real doozy for comedy legends in particular, including writer/directors, TV announcers, critical mentors, and legendary performers we grew up watching. Many of the people below had careers so vast and influential that they’re impossible to sum up in a single paragraph. But I’ll try. So let’s bum ourselves out and then lift our glasses in remembrance. They are sorely missed.

'SNL' Alum Jan Hooks Dies at 57

Sad news: TMZ reports that Jan Hooks — a former cast member on SNL who also appeared on Designing Women, The Martin Short Show, 30 Rock, and more — died in New York City today at the age of 57. A rep confirmed that Hooks "had been battling a serious illness," though no further details have been released.

Hooks was an SNL cast member from 1986-1991; you can read more about her fantastic stint on the show here, then click through to watch "The Diner," one of her most memorable sketches with host Alec Baldwin.

Louis C.K. on Joan Rivers: "It Really Fucking Sucks That She Had to Die All of a Sudden"

"I feel very lucky that I knew Joan Rivers and I feel very sad that she's gone. She was a great comedian and a wonderful person. I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience. She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. [...]

Don Pardo, the Iconic Voice of 'SNL,' Dies at 96

The iconic voice of Saturday Night Live has passed away. News broke last night that Don Pardo, who worked as SNL's announcer since the show's debut in 1975, died in his home of Tucson, Arizona at the age of 96. Pardo's voice is synonymous with SNL's opening credit sequence, and Lorne Michaels told the New York Times that "every year the new cast couldn't wait to hear their name said by him." When asked what SNL will do without Pardo, Michaels said: "I don't know what I'll do. It won't be the first time I've thought of it, and I've never had an answer."

Earlier in [...]

Remembering Harris Wittels

The comedy community was dealt a huge blow yesterday when comedian and Parks and Recreation writer/producer Harris Wittels was found dead in his Los Angeles home of an apparent overdose. He was just 30 years old. Since then, countless friends, fans, and collaborators have been expressing their condolences and love for such a tragically short-lived talent, including Parks and Rec star Amy Poehler last night during a charity event: "Today, I lost a friend," she said. "I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction. I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that [...]

Looking Back at the Nine 'SNL' Players Who Left Us Too Soon

When Jan Hooks — SNL cast member from 1986-1991 — died at the age of 57 last month, the show truly lost one of its stealthy greats. Like frequent sketch costar Phil Hartman, Hooks's incredible talent didn't need to call attention to itself, so it's only now, in hindsight and reruns, that the full measure of her brilliance is beginning to be calculated. Since SNL debuted in 1975, over 140 players have been in the cast, and nine have passed away from illness, drugs, or violence. Whether they leave us as beloved superstars with promising careers ahead of them or underappreciated and semi-forgotten talents with few recent onscreen [...]

Chicago Comedy and Theater Great Sheldon Patinkin Dies at 79

The Chicago theater and comedy community lost a big name yesterday with the news that Sheldon Patinkin, who mentored countless performers and directors and was an icon of the Second City community, died at age 79. Patinkin worked as the chair of Columbia College Chicago's theater department and as an artistic consultant at both Second City and Steppenwolf Theatre. He is regarded as a beloved mentor, teacher, and pioneer of the city's improvisational community for over 50 years and also chronicled the history of Second City in the 2000 book Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater. Here's an official statement from Second City [...]

Joan Rivers Dies at 81

Legendary comedian Joan Rivers has died at 81. According to Variety, the host of E!'s Fashion Police passed away this afternoon after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure yesterday. Rivers was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital after a surgery on her vocal cords resulted in breathing complications last week, and she was put in a medically-induced coma two days ago. Here's the official statement from her daughter Melissa:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of [...]

Trying to Know Robin Williams

Robin was a part of my life from the very beginning.

I was born just after my father made Dead Poets Society, and Robin became a close friend of my parents. I slept in his daughter Zelda's crib as a baby, and went with his family to Disneyland for the first time when I was not even a toddler. I remember him in short swaths — short bullet points along the timeline of my life. Time with him was often sparse, and moreso as I got older. But he was always a part of it. When I went over to my mother's apartment tonight, and she embraced me, sobbing [...]

RIP Harris Wittels

Heartbreaking news: Earlier this afternoon, comedian and Parks and Recreation co-executive producer Harris Wittels was found dead in his home in Los Angeles. The exact cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but it's believed to be a drug overdose. Wittels has spoken about his struggles with sobriety many times in both his standup and podcast appearances, most notably during an episode of You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes in November.

In addition to his work on Parks and Rec, Wittels has written and produced for The Sarah Silverman Program and Eastbound & Down, and he was also the mastermind behind Humblebrag. Wittels was [...]

Remembering Jan Hooks

"Phil Hartman is my hero."

Jan Hooks sits next to me on a couch, nibbling a ham sandwich. We're at Michael O'Donoghue's Christmas party, listening to a live, Celtic band.

"Phil can do anything. He made me better."

I usually refrain from asking SNL vets about their on-air work, but I couldn't resist in Jan's case. When I mention how beautifully she and Phil worked together, Jan gave him all of the credit.

"Well, you're pretty great yourself," I reply, meaning every word.

Michael drifts by, touches Jan's shoulder. She smiles and squeezes Michael's hand.

"Ain't he sweet?" Jan says in that Southern sing-song voice she's done a [...]

David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and More Pay Tribute to Joan Rivers

Here's a clip from last night's Late Show, in which Letterman takes a few moments to pay tribute to Joan Rivers following news of her passing. "The force and power of her comedy was overwhelming. I said to people, 'I didn't remember that she was that funny,' but by God, she was all her life." Click through to see some other late night tributes to Rivers last night from Late Show, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show, and Conan.

Amy Poehler: "My Whole Life Changed Once Don Pardo Said My Name"

"My whole life changed once Don Pardo said my name. I will really miss that kind and talented man."

- In a short but sweet statement for The Wrap, Amy Poehler remembers SNL's legendary announcer Don Pardo.