Friday, September 1, 2017

RIP Shelley Berman

Comedian Shelley Berman, who played Larry David’s dad on ‘Curb,’ dead at 92.

New York Times
By Nicole Bitette
September 1, 2017

Comedian Shelley Berman, who was famous as a "sit-down" comedian and later as Larry David's dad on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," died on Friday.

He was 92.

Berman rose through the comedy ranks in the late 1950's and '60s as a "sit-down" comic, rather than the popular "stand-up" comedian. His signature move was to sit crossed-leg on a stool as he did his routine and to sometimes pretend he was on the phone.

"I'm not a stand-up comedian," Berman had often said. "I work on a stool."
He shared the spotlight with comedic greats of the time, like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and Bob Newhart, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Berman's career in the nightclub scene deteriorated after he was caught on camera in an angry backstage outburst, so he instead turned his focus to acting.

Most recently he starred as Larry David's dad Nat on the popular HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which returns for Season 9 on Oct. 1 Berman, a Chicago native, received an Emmy nomination for his role as Nat. He also made several appearances on TV shows like, "Boston Legal," "The Blues Brothers Animated Series," "L.A. Law" and countless others — including a came on "Hannah Montana."

He also received the first-ever Grammy record for a spoken-word album with his 1959 special "Inside Shelley Berman." Two more of his records would end up going gold.

The comedian and professionally trained actor also starred in Gore Vidal's 1964 flick "The Best Man."

Berman died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, according to Facebook post to his fan page.
Comedian Marc Maron was one of the first to comment on the loss of the great.

"Shelley Berman has hung up the phone. RIP," he wrote. "The guy who inspired me to sit. Great comic."

BERMAN, Shelley (Sheldon Leonard Berman)
Born: 2/3/1925, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 9/1/2017, Bell Canyon, California, U.S.A.
Shelley Berman’s westerns – actor:
Rawhide (TV) – 1962 (Mendel Sorkin)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 2000 (Ira Goldberg)

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