A comedian and actor who was a regular on the TV talk show circuit and in comedy clubs, billing himself as “The World’s Foremost Authority,” has died. The AP reports that Irwin Corey died Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 102 years old.
“Corey’s dizzying mix of mock-intellectual circumlocutions, earnest political tirades and slapstick one-liners made Corey the king of comedic confusion and earned him the nickname ‘professor,'” the AP reports.
The report quotes one of his jokes that goes: “Did you hear about the guy who went to the druggist and wanted to get some cyanide? The guy takes a picture of his wife out of his wallet, and the druggist says, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had a prescription!'”
The AP adds: “Corey became a staple on television talk shows and in comedy clubs, and his film career included working with Jackie Gleason and Woody Allen. He often wore sneakers, a skinny black tie, black tails and his hair was disheveled.”
The report also notes: “It was never clear exactly what he was an authority on. Often he would begin his act with long-winded gobbledygook filled with sentences that followed their own logic before pausing and then saying, ‘What was the question again?'”
Here’s a short clip featuring Corey being interviewed by newsman Christopher Lydon a few years back …