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Actor-comedian Mort Sahl (1927-2021)


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Mort Sahl, the pioneer comic known for his astute social commentary in the 1950s and 1960s. has died at the age of 94.

Sahl's longtime  friend Lucy Mercer told The New York Times that Sahl died Tuesday at his home in Mill Valley, California. No cause of death was given.

Mort Sahl Dead: Groundbreaking Contrarian Comedian Was 94 – Deadline

Sahl (pictured with Jonathan Winters and George Carlin) became an inspiration for many stand-up comics through the years.

Mort Sahl, an inspiration for many modern-day comedians, dies at 94 -  pennlive.com

Three months before the 1960 presidential election, Sahl was depicted on the cover of Time magazine as a comic with the ability to skewer presidents and presidential candidates. "At 33, Mort Sahl is young, irreverent, and trenchant," the magazine's cover story said. "With one eye on world news and the other on Variety, he is a volatile mixture of show business and politics, of exhibitionistic self-dedication and a seemingly sincere passion to change the world. The best of the New Comedians, he is also the first notable American political satirist since Will Rogers."

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Sahl appeared as a wisecracking G.I. in the 1960 Korean war drama "All the Young Men," directed by Hall Bartlett ("Zero Hour!"). The film, which starred Alan Ladd, Sidney Poitier and James Darren, reflected the newly desegregated military units of the time.

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In  "Man in the Middle," a Season 1 episode of NBC's suspense anthology series "Thriller," Sahl starred as a television writer who overheard a plot to kidnap a socialite for ransom. Although he tried to mind his own business, he found himself caught in the conspiracy. Hosted by Boris Karloiff, the episode -- which aired on December 20, 1960, also starred Werner Klemperer. Julian Burton, Sue Randall and Frank Albertson. 

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Sahl made numerous appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and even hosted his own television specials. He also served as a fill-in host of NBC's "The Tonight Show"  during the interregnum between Jack Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's ascension.

After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Sahl became preoccupied by the Warren Commission's controversial report. He became a supporter of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who attempted to prove that Kennedy's death was the result of a conspiracy. Garrison's quest became the subject of Oliver Stone's acclaimed 1991 drama "JFK," which starred Kevin Costner as the prosecutor.

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R.I.P. Mort Sahl. Most young people have no idea who he was but he was one of the few comedians who yanked comedy out of vaudeville type humor into the modern age. One of the very first to just talk to the audience. We’ll miss you Mort.
 
RIP Mort Sahl. He just invented modern American political satire, is all. Was still doing great stand ups on Periscope until very recently. And while he was best known for stinging wit, he was always an expert joke writer.
 

 

qDTjDEIG_bigger.jpg

"Comedians have to challenge the power. Comedians should be dangerous and devastating - and funny.' -- Mort Sahl
 
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A comic genius. In his heyday he'd walk out onto a stage with a newspaper and riff on what he read: politics, religion, sex, Hollywood, whatever. It was all fair game. Not as jokey as Jackie Mason or Bob Newhart. He eventually rubbed everyone the wrong way and was proud of  it.

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8 hours ago, jakeem said:

Mort Sahl, the pioneer comic known for his astute social commentary in the 1950s and 1960s. has died at the age of 94.

Sahl's longtime  friend Lucy Mercer told The New York Times that Sahl died Tuesday at his home in Mill Valley, California. No cause of death was given.

Mort Sahl Dead: Groundbreaking Contrarian Comedian Was 94 – Deadline

Sahl (pictured with Jonathan Winters and George Carlin) became an inspiration for many stand-up comics through the years.

Mort Sahl, an inspiration for many modern-day comedians, dies at 94 -  pennlive.com

Three months before the 1960 presidential election, Sahl was depicted on the cover of Time magazine as a comic with the ability to skewer presidents and presidential candidates. "At 33, Mort Sahl is young, irreverent, and trenchant," the magazine's cover story said. "With one eye on world news and the other on Variety, he is a volatile mixture of show business and politics, of exhibitionistic self-dedication and a seemingly sincere passion to change the world. The best of the New Comedians, he is also the first notable American political satirist since Will Rogers."

See the source image

Sahl appeared as a wisecracking G.I. in the 1960 Korean war drama "All the Young Men," directed by Hall Bartlett ("Zero Hour!"). The film, which starred Alan Ladd, Sidney Poitier and James Darren, reflected the newly desegregated military units of the time.

See the source image

In  "Man in the Middle," a Season 1 episode of NBC's suspense anthology series "Thriller," Sahl starred as a television writer who overheard a plot to kidnap a socialite for ransom. Although he tried to mind his own business, he found himself caught in the conspiracy. Hosted by Boris Karloiff, the episode -- which aired on December 20, 1960, also starred Werner Klemperer. Julian Burton, Sue Randall and Frank Albertson. 

See the source image

Sahl made numerous appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and even hosted his own television specials. He also served as a fill-in host of NBC's "The Tonight Show"  during the interregnum between Jack Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's ascension.

After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Sahl became preoccupied by the Warren Commission's controversial report. He became a supporter of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who attempted to prove that Kennedy's death was the result of a conspiracy. Garrison's quest became the subject of Oliver Stone's acclaimed 1991 drama "JFK," which starred Kevin Costner as the prosecutor.

See the source image

 

BookCover_bigger.jpg

R.I.P. Mort Sahl. Most young people have no idea who he was but he was one of the few comedians who yanked comedy out of vaudeville type humor into the modern age. One of the very first to just talk to the audience. We’ll miss you Mort.
 
RIP Mort Sahl. He just invented modern American political satire, is all. Was still doing great stand ups on Periscope until very recently. And while he was best known for stinging wit, he was always an expert joke writer.
 

 

qDTjDEIG_bigger.jpg

"Comedians have to challenge the power. Comedians should be dangerous and devastating - and funny.' -- Mort Sahl
 

Love That Pic with the Light. Would Be A Stellar Handle

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9 hours ago, UMO1982 said:

A comic genius. In his heyday he'd walk out onto a stage with a newspaper and riff on what he read: politics, religion, sex, Hollywood, whatever. It was all fair game. Not as jokey as Jackie Mason or Bob Newhart. He eventually rubbed everyone the wrong way and was proud of  it.

I remember a nation being disturbed and puzzled after seeing Clint Eastwood tell an invisible chair to F-off at the '12 Republican convention, thinking it was Obama--  🤨

And a couple days later, reading Roger Ebert's blog column, about Mort Sahl's political monologue routines...OHHH-hhh!  Well, I mean, Clint could have told us that.

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I just read "Seriously Funny" about comedians of the 1950's and 1960's,  Mort Sahl is on the cover.

 

Mort Sahl was Woody Allen's inspiration and mentor.   Woody asked him "How do I get into show business?".  Twenty years later Woody asked him "Now, how do I get out of show business?"

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