Rip Taylor Dies: Hollywood Icon Of Comedy And Camp Was 84

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Stand-up comedian and flamboyant star of film and TV Rip Taylor died Sunday in Beverly Hills, Deadline has learned. He was 84.

Known for his confetti-clad campy comedy, Taylor was born Charles Elmer Taylor in Washington D.C. on January 13, 1935. His comedy career started when he joined the U.S. Army and started to perform stand-up in clubs around the world where he developed a signature bit where he would cry and beg for the audience to laugh.

Taylor would go on to become known as “The Prince or Pandemonium”, “”The Master of Mayhem”, “The Crying Comedian” and “The King of Camp and Confetti”. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show nearly 20 times as well as The Jackie Gleason Show. On TV, he appeared on The Monkees and lent his voice to animated series including The Addams Family as Uncle Fester and Here Comes the Grump in the ’70s. He continued to use his voice talent throughout his career in the TV movies Scooby Goes Hollywood in 1979 as well as DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp in 1990.

Throughout the ’70s he would often appear as a celebrity panelist on Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth, The Gong Show and The Match Game. He was also a regular on The Brad Bunch Variety Hour where he played neighbor and Alice’s love interest. In 1990, Taylor would return as a celebrity guest in a new version of the Match Game. 

In 1978, he would collaborate with Gong Show creator and host Chuck Barris for $1.98 Beauty Show, a riff on beauty pageants. He hosted the short-lived show.

Taylor would remain in the pop culture zeitgeist for six decades with his own brand of comedy, appearing on a diverse array of TV shows and films. He was a regular on Sid and Marty Krofft’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and appeared in the comedy series The Kids in the Hall. His other TV credits included Will & Grace, George Lopez, Life with Bonnie, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody among others.

On the film side, he appeared in The Gong Show Movie (1980), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), The Silence of the Hams (1994) as well as The Dukes of Hazzard (2005). He also played himself in Wayne’s World 2 and was a staple in the Jackass movie franchise, appearing in Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two and Jackass 3D at the very end of the movies.

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