Comedian Shelley Berman Dead At 92

Comedian Shelley Berman Dead At 92

But loyal WNOP-AM listeners will remember the iconic 1960s comedian - who died Friday at 92 at his California home of complications from Alzheimer's - from the station identification spots he recorded for the Newport jazz station that aired bits from comedy albums. He was preceded in death by his son Joshua Berman.

It was during his early days in Chicago that Berman developed his signature act, in which he would perform one-sided phone conversations while seated in front of the audience.

Berman began his career after serving in the Navy and joined the Chicago improv company the Compass Players, which eventually became Chicago's Second City. Berman got his start in the Chicago comedy scene of the 1950s, alongside comics like Mort Sahl and Bob Newhart. Having accomplished many "firsts" in the comedy business, Berman's "Inside Shelley Berman" live album was the first comedy recording to be certified gold.

He would eventually record six albums for Verve Records, including Outside Shelley Berman and The Edge of Shelley Berman, both of which also went gold.

From 2002-09, Berman played the role of Larry David's father on Curb Your Enthusiasm, a role that earned him a 2008 Emmy Award nomination.

As an actor, Berman was memorable as a guy who has some dirt on presidential candidate Cliff Robertson in Gore Vidal's The Best Man (1964); as the misanthropic Archibald Beechcroft, who wills everyone in the world to be just like him (to his eventual dismay), in a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone; and as a hilariously senile judge on Boston Legal. "As a kid growing up in Chicago, I wrote stories for my own amusement", he once said, according to a statement received by HuffPost.

Thanks for all the laughs, Shelley Berman.

Berman retired from performing in 2014 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

During the interim years before his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, he returned to straight acting and taught a course in humor writing at the University of Southern California until 2013.

Berman is survived by his wife, Sarah, to whom he was married for 70 years, as well as their daughter, Rachel, and two grandsons.

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