A comedian who was a regular on television variety shows going back to his appearances on “Ed Sullivan” in the early 1960s has died. Rip Taylor died Sunday, according to media reports. He was 88.
Taylor reportedly died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was hospitalized after suffering a seizure.
Taylor became known for his flamboyant personality and his wild mustache, and for making an entrance by throwing confetti. A trademark bit from early in his career was pretending to cry as he begged the audience to laugh.
He reportedly made almost 20 appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and close to 30 appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” along with frequent appearances on “The Mike Douglas Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” “The Joey Bishop Show” and other variety shows.
Taylor was also often seen on TV game shows, including “Hollywood Squares,” “To Tell the Truth” and “The Gong Show.”
He also did voice work, including playing Uncle Fester on the 1990s animated version of the TV show “The Addams Family.”
Here’s an appearance by Taylor with David Letterman in 1987 …