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Satirist Mort Sahl, who helped revolutionize stand-up comedy during the Cold War with his comments on politicians and current events and became the favorite of a new generation of reluctant Americans, died on Tuesday. He was 94 years old.
His friend Lucy Mercer said he died “peacefully” at her home in Mill Valley, California. The cause was “old age,” she said.At a time when many comedians dressed in tuxedos and told jokes to his stepmother, Sahl faced his audiences in the 1950s and 1960s wearing pants, sweater and unbuttoned collar and carrying a rolled up newspaper on which he had pasted notes for his act. Reading the news as if he was sitting across from you at the kitchen table, he made his inevitably sharp comments, often joining laughter with a horse bellow and ending his routines by asking, “There is.” there a group that I haven’t offended yet? “
“Every comedian who doesn’t joke about his wife has to thank him for that,” actor-comedian Albert Brooks told The Associated Press in 2007. “He really was the first, even before Lenny Bruce, to speak of things, not just punchlines. “
“Why would you want to come back as George Bush? “
Morton Lyon Sahl was born on May 11, 1927, in Montreal, to a Canadian mother and a New York father who ran a tobacco shop. The family moved to the United States where Sahl’s father Harry worked for the Department of Justice in several cities.
Sahl was proud to have made fun of every president, from Dwight Eisenhower to Donald Trump, although he admitted that he privately admired Democrat John F. Kennedy and counted Republican Ronald Reagan among his closest friends. . Of President George W. Bush, he observed, “He was born again, you know. Which would raise the inevitable question: If you had the unusual opportunity to be born again, why would you come back as George Bush?
WATCH | Sahl performs on CBC-TV Parade in 1959:
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