Archive for Comedians

Jimmy Durante

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags , , on October 15, 2013 by Cade

durante1February 10, 1893 – March 29, 1980

James Frances Durante and his nose were born in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. Young Jimmy dropped out of school to become a jazz and ragtime pianist. Something he was very good at. By the time he was 27, Durante had his very own New Orleans Jazz Band. But, his piano chops aside, Jimmy Durante was most famous for being a comedian. His self-deprecating humor – he called himself “The Great Schnozzola” because, well… – intentionally butchered language and staccatoed speech patterns earned him fame on the Vaudeville stages, the radio and, ultimately, film and television. Continue reading

Gummo Marx

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , on September 5, 2013 by Cade


October 21, 18921 – April 21, 1977

Milton “Gummo” Marx was the 2nd youngest of the Marx Brothers comedy team.  He was a part of the family’s early vaudeville days but was drafted into the Army near the end of World War I and never joined them in their film careers.  After his military service, he returned to show business as an agent. He represented his brother, Groucho, and a number of other writers and actors. Continue reading

Chico Marx

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , , on September 5, 2013 by Cade


March 22, 1887 – October 11, 1961

Leonard “Chico” Marx was the oldest of the legendary Marx Brothers comedy team.  Born in New York City, Chico (pronounced “Chick-o”) and his brothers performed from an early age in vaudeville with their uncle.  All of the brothers were talented musicians, but it was the more-or-less accidental discovery that they were hilarious that eventually launched them into super-stardom.  Chico adopted a stage persona of a rural Italian who dressed in baggy clothes and Bavarian hat. Continue reading

Buster Keaton

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , on August 7, 2013 by Cade

keaton1October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966

Joseph Frank Keaton, known to the world as “Buster,” was one of the biggest names in comedy throughout the silent film era of the late 1910’s and ’20’s. Keaton got his start as a boy in vaudeville being thrown around stage by his father…seriously. His time spent onstage with his parents taught a young Buster the art of physical comedy. A talent which he would parlay into film and go on to become one of the most iconic comedians of all time.  His classic deadpan expression belied the hysterical goings-on around him in most of his films which only made them funnier. Continue reading

Stan Laurel

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , on June 14, 2013 by Cade


June 16, 1890 – February 23, 1965

On October 2, 1910 an English ocean liner named Cairnrona arrived in Quebec after a 10-day journey from Southampton. History and the way of the world at the time would indicate that this was no special ship or voyage.  That is, except for the fact that the vessel carried a troupe of comedians headed for America which included Charlie Chaplin and a 20 year-old man named Stanley Jefferson.  Jefferson would eventually change his name to Laurel and America was about to laugh…a lot.  But as impressive of a pairing as Chaplin and Laurel were on that same ship, it was Stan’s later partnership with another comedian that would make him a legend.

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Redd Foxx

Posted in Palm Valley View Memorial Park with tags , on June 6, 2013 by Cade


December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991

Note to all aspiring comedians: Choose your catchphrases wisely.

Redd Foxx (shockingly, not his real name) was a popular comedian and actor who rose to fame with raunchy, explicit comedy recordings throughout the 1950’s and ’60’s.  But it was his portrayal of Fred Sanford on the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son that earned him his biggest success. The show ran for 5 years and followed the life of junkman, Fred Sanford (shockingly, Foxx’s actual father’s real name,) and, well…his son.  It featured a number of running gags, one of the more popular of which was Sanford often faking a heart attack claiming “This is the big one! I’m coming to join ya, Elizabeth!” Continue reading

Soupy Sales

Posted in Kensico Cemetery with tags , , on May 30, 2013 by Cade

January 8, 1926 – October 22, 2009

Milton Supman was a radio and television personality, actor and comedian who was known to the world by the nickname given to him as a boy: Soupy.  After hosting a number of local radio and TV shows, Sales started Lunch With Soupy on a Detroit local channel.  The show, which was a mélange of slapstick, puns, sight gags and pie throwing became a hit and in 1959, began to air nationally on ABC. Continue reading

George Burns and Gracie Allen

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , on May 28, 2013 by Cade


January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996
July 26, 1895 – August 27, 1964

One of the great comedy teams of all-time, Burns and Allen were vaudeville, radio, film and television legends.  They met in New Jersey and embarked on a career – and life – together that would entertain audiences for decades. George was the classic straight man to Gracie’s madcap comic.  They eventually made the jump from stage to film and television and moved their popular radio program, The Burns and Allen Show, to television, where it ran for 8 years.  In 1964, after a long battle with heart disease, Gracie said “Goodnight” and died. Leaving George to continue his career without his partner and wife. Continue reading

Rodney Dangerfield

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on May 12, 2013 by Cade


November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004

To the best of my knowledge, Jacob Rodney Cohen, known simply as Rodney Dangerfield, got no respect.  At least that’s what he told us over and over again. Dangerfield was a lovable actor/comedian whose bumbling roles in films like Caddyshack and Back to School embodied the public persona for which he was best known.  In the late 1960’s, Dangerfield’s comedy career started exploding with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Show.He parlayed his over-the-top character into co-starring and starring film roles, television commercials and even, for reasons known only to God and himself, rap.



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Larry Fine

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , on April 8, 2013 by Cade


October 5, 1902 – January 24, 1975

Louis Feinberg – known to the world as Larry Fine – was a vaudeville and film entertainer who was a member of the classic comedy team, The Three Stooges. Larry was asked by creator Ted Healy to join brothers Moe and Shemp Howard1 in their stage act. He said ‘yes’ and the rest was history.

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