One of the greatest legends of comedy, who became an inspiration to generations of comedians who followed him, has died. USA Today reports that Jonathan Winters died Thursday evening at his home in Montecito, Calif., of natural causes. He was 87.
“Winters’ career began when he won a talent contest in Dayton, Ohio, which led to radio gigs and appearances at comedy clubs, along with comedy albums,” the story reports. “He was a favorite guest on the late-night TV circuit for decades, often appearing with Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Steve Allen. And he often performed in character. One one of his best known was Maude Frickert, an old lady with a quick and acid wit. He had his own TV show in the 1950s.”
Here’s a clip of Winters roasting Frank Sinatra: