‘Funniest of them all’: tributes paid to Mort Sahl after death aged 94

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Tributes person been paid to the trailblazing standup comedian Mort Sahl aft his decease astatine the property of 94.

The Canadian-born comic was credited with revolutionising American drama successful the 1950s acknowledgment to his acerbic governmental satire.

Sahl was known for performing with a rolled-up paper arsenic a prop and would often inquire the audience: “Are determination immoderate groups I haven’t offended?”.

He died astatine his location successful Mill Valley, adjacent San Francisco successful Northern California, connected Tuesday, a person told the New York Times.

Sahl became an influential fig during the 1950s, erstwhile helium recorded what the US Library of Congress described arsenic “the earliest illustration of modern standup drama connected record”.

By the extremity of the decennary helium had appeared successful films, hosted the Oscars and written jokes for John F Kennedy’s statesmanlike campaign.

Mort Sahl successful  1978.
Mort Sahl successful 1978. Photograph: Adam Scull/photolink/mediapunch/REX/Shutterstock

However, the 1960s brought a vocation lull for Sahl. He became convinced Kennedy was killed arsenic portion of a conspiracy and would work lengthy passages from the Warren Commission study into the president’s killing.

In 1996, Sahl, who was joined 3 times, was devastated by the decease of his lone son, 19-year-old Morton Jr.

After moving from Los Angeles to Mill Valley, Sahl became friends with Robin Williams and appeared successful a documentary astir his chap comedian’s death.

Sahl has been hailed arsenic “pound-for-pound, the funniest, astir innovative comedian of them all”.

Robert B Weide, the enforcement shaper of acclaimed drama Curb Your Enthusiasm who filmed a documentary astir Sahl said successful tribute: “#MortSahl (1927-2021) was not lone the astir influential standup comic successful the past of the medium, helium remained, pound-for-pound, the funniest, astir innovative comedian of them all, passim his full career.

“He was besides a bully friend. RIP, Pal.”

The Simpsons prima Harry Shearer, who voices characters including Mr Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders, besides paid tribute.

He said: “RIP Mort Sahl. He conscionable invented modern American governmental satire, is all. Was inactive doing large standups connected Periscope until precise recently. And portion helium was champion known for stinging wit, helium was ever an adept gag writer.”

The histrion and comedian Albert Brooks tweeted: “Most young radical person nary thought who helium was but helium was 1 the fewer comedians who yanked drama retired of vaudeville-type humour into the modern age. One of the precise archetypal to conscionable speech to the audience. We’ll miss you Mort.”