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Standup John Pinette Dies at 50

Standup comedian John Pinette tragically passed away this weekend at the age of 50, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Pinette was found dead Saturday afternoon in a Pittsburgh hotel room, where he had been staying for a family function. His death was due to natural causes, as he had been suffering from liver and heart disease. Pinette, whose weight was often the subject of his self-deprecating standup, had recently lost 200 pounds due to a weight loss regimen.

John Pinette began doing standup in the 1980s and was also known for his work as an impressionist and actor. He performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and released multiple [...]

Sid Caesar Dies at 91

Comedy legend Sid Caesar passed away today in his LA home at the age of 91. Caesar's friend Larry King revealed his passing on Twitter, writing, "Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar – a dear friend, a comic genius and an American classic. There will never be another one like him."

One of the most influential figures in TV comedy history, Caesar was the star of Your Show of Shows, the iconic live 90-minute variety show (costarring Imogene Coca) that ran from 1950 to 1954 before transforming into Caesar's Hour, which aired from 1954 to 1957. Between the two shows, Caesar displayed an amazing ability [...]

Oscar-Nominated Actress Eileen Brennan Dies at 80

Character actress Eileen Brennan passed away on Sunday in her Burbank home at the age of 80, according to her publicist. The cause of death was bladder cancer. Brennan, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance as tough Army captain Doreen Lewis in 1980's Private Benjamin, was an accomplished actress of stage and screen who was apt at playing both comedy and drama. Comedy-wise, she's known for her roles in Clue, FM, Murder by Death, and for Emmy-nominated guest spots on Taxi, Newhart, and Will & Grace.

'All in the Family' Star Jean Stapleton Dies at 90

Veteran actress Jean Stapleton, best known for portraying Archie's better half Edith Bunker on All in the Family, passed away Friday from natural causes at the age of 90. Stapleton won three Emmys and two Golden Globes for her career-defining performance as Edith, a character she portrayed for the influential show's entire nine-year run (and for an additional year on the continuation series Archie Bunker's Place). In addition to her role in All in the Family, Stapleton played supporting roles in movies like You've Got Mail, Michael, and Klute and guest starred on Everybody Loves Raymond, The Love Boat, and Murphy Brown. She was also an accomplished stage actress [...]

Mickey Rose, Woody Allen's Original Writing Partner, Dies at 77

Comedy writer Mickey Rose passed away Sunday from cancer at the age of 77, The LA Times reports. Rose is best known for co-writing Woody Allen's first three movies with Allen: What's Up, Tiger Lily?, Take the Money and Run, and Bananas. Allen and Rose became friends in high school in Brooklyn in the early 1950s, where they played baseball and in a jazz band together. Allen even set Rose up on a blind date with Judy Wolf, the woman who would become his wife of 40 years, until her death in 2003. Rose and Allen stopped writing together in 1970, when Rose and his family moved [...]

'Tonight Show' Regular and Beloved Standup David Brenner Dies at 78

On Saturday, legendary observational standup and Tonight Show favorite David Brenner passed away peacefully in New York City after a battle with cancer. "David Brenner was a huge star when I met him and he took me under his wing," fellow standup Richard Lewis said in a statement. "To me, historically, he was the godfather of hip, observational comedy. He mentored me from day one. … His passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be replaced." Throughout the '70s and '80s, Brenner became a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, with over 150 appearances as both guest and substitute host. He also starred [...]

'The Simpsons' Pays a Touching Tribute to Voice Actress Marcia Wallace

Longtime Simpsons voice actress Marcia Wallace, who voiced schoolteacher Mrs. Krabappel on the show, passed away at 70 last weekend, and yesterday night's episode of The Simpsons included a special tribute to her. The episode, which coincidentally was about the death of a Springfield resident (not Mrs. Krabappel), began with a modified version of the opening credits' chalkboard gag. Instead of writing the same phrase over and over on the chalkboard, Bart just writes, "We'll really miss you, Mrs. K" just once and looks very sad.

The episode's end credits featured a still image of Mrs. Krabappel sitting on her desk with the words "In loving memory of [...]

'Family Ties' and 'Spin City' Creator Gary David Goldberg Dies at 68

Prolific television writer Gary David Goldberg has passed away at the age of 68 after a battle with brain cancer, according to Variety. Goldberg got his first TV writing job on The Bob Newhart Show in 1976. After that, he wrote on series like M*A*S*HPhyllis,The Tony Randall Show, and Lou Grant before getting the chance in 1982 to create his own show, Family Ties, which ran for sevens seasons on NBC. Family Ties made a young Michael J. Fox into a star and became a hit during its third season when paired with The Cosby Show, kicking off NBC's long-running "Must See TV" lineup.

Goldberg created another long-running sitcom [...]

There Will Never Be Another Jonathan Winters

There, in his eyes.

Controlled madness. Laser-keen in bursts. Pointed and precise.

Vulnerability, too. A certain tenderness. His eyes set the tone for his act.

I can't think of an American comedian more revered and respected than Jonathan Winters. (There's Jack Benny, for those who remember him.) Winters created a world where you were welcome, but you had to keep pace. His rapid-fire mind took hairpin turns. The inattentive might be left in his dust.

Winters was one of the more offbeat performers in mainstream comedy. He was as polished as Hope. As graceful as Gleason. As biting as Rickles. Yet Winters pushed it further. Breathed different [...]

RIP Phyllis Diller

Comedian Phyllis Diller passed away in her sleep earlier today at age 95. Diller began as a stand-up in the 1950s and never stopped performing until a few years back. During that time she amassed over 50,000 jokes. She undoubtedly was a legend and a very influential comedian. She was able to combine a unique sort of self-deprecation with an impressively honed comedic persona and touches of absurdity, most notably she devoted much of her act to a fictitious husband named "Fang." And then there was that laugh. Watch a few clips of her below. She will be missed.

Legendary Comedy Writer, Actor, and Director Harold Ramis Is Dead at 69

Influential comedy writer, actor, and director Harold Ramis passed away today at the age of 69, The Chicago Tribune reports. Ramis, who wrote, directed, and acted in countless hit comedies, died from complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease involving the swelling of blood vessels. He died surrounded by friends and family at 12:53am. Ramis's serious health problems began in 2010, but he kept quiet about his illness publicly. Prior to his death, he was visited by frequent collaborators Brian Doyle-Murray and Bill Murray, having been estranged from the latter for years. Ramis is survived by wife Erica Mann Ramis, daughter Violet Stiel, sons Julian and Daniel Ramis [...]

Wes Anderson Regular Kumar Pallana Dies at 94

Character actor Kumar Pallana, a regular in Wes Anderson's movies, passed away yesterday at the age of 94. Pallana appeared in scene stealing roles in four of Anderson's movies: as Kumar the safecracker in Bottle Rocket, excited janitor Mr. LittleJeans in Rushmore, Gene Hackman's sidekick/valet Pagoda in The Royal Tenenbaums, and in a less memorable part as an old man on a train in The Darjeeling Limited. Pallana transitioned into acting at the age of 76 when he met Wes Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson at a coffee shop owned by his son, and they insisted on casting him in a small part in their first movie, Bottle Rocket. [...]

Second City Co-Founder Bernie Sahlins Dies at 90

Comedy pioneer Bernie Sahlins passed away Sunday in his Chicago home at the age of 90. Sahlins, who co-founded Chicago's Second City theater in 1959, had a vast influence on the careers of the dozens and dozens of brilliant comedic minds that passed through the theater's doors during his tenure there and upon the American comedy landscape as a whole. Sahlins spent three decades at Second City before selling the theater to Andrew Alexander in 1984 and stepping down as artistic director in 1988. During his time at Second City, Sahlins hired a long list of iconic performers that includes Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, John Belushi, Dan [...]

Comedy Legend Jonathan Winters Dies at 87

Beloved comedian Jonathan Winters has passed away at the age of 87. TMZ reports that Winters died in Montecito, California, yesterday evening, surrounded by friends and family. Winters, renowned for his stand-up act that showcased his brilliant, rapid-fire improvisational abilities and knack for character work, inspired a ton of comedians who followed in his footsteps, including Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Johnny Carson, Lily Tomlin, Andy Kaufman, Amy Sedaris, and countless others. In addition to releasing a string of popular albums, two of which won him Grammys, the late comedian had an impressive resume of movie and TV credits. Although he amassed hundreds of TV and movie credits, Winters is perhaps best [...]