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Legendary comedian, Mort Sahl, dies at 94

2 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, October 27 2021 Oct 27, 2021 October 27, 2021 6:32 AM October 27, 2021 in News
Source: BBC News
Mort Sahl

Iconic comedian and political satirist Mort Sahl passed away this week at the age of 94, according to BBC News.

The news outlet reports that he died Tuesday, in Mill Valley, California.

Sahl's groundbreaking comedy style has been credited as the inspiration for modern stand-up.

Known for his bold social commentary on current events and scathing stand-up routines that targeted the most popular political figures of the time, he poked fun at former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

He'd often take to the stage with a newspaper in his hand, a prop that also doubled as an aid to his routine due to the notes for his act that were scrawled on it.

A Canadian native who was raised in L.A., Sahl first took to the stage in San Francisco and his career took off quickly, bringing him to comedy clubs across the US.

He hosted the first Grammy Awards in 1959 and co-hosted the Academy Awards that same year.

Sahl became a household name in the late 50's and remained so for years. He made the cover of Time Magazine in 1960, frequently dropped by the popular Johnny Carson show to entertain audiences with his material, and became a movie star when he accepted leading roles in several Hollywood films.

At the height of his fame, Sahl's net worth rose to $1.6 million.

With money, fame, and charm under his belt, he became known as a ladies man and tied the knot several times during his life. But, each of his marriages ended in divorce.

That said, his love affair with comedy remained ongoing. Dedicated to his craft, Sahl continued to perform stand up in his 80s, even after suffering a stroke. He also expanded his career to include teaching when he became an instructor at Claremont McKenna College in California where he taught a course in critical thinking at the age of 80. 

In his later years, Sahl moved to Mill Valley and befriended a famous neighbor, the late Robin Williams.

Sahl had one son, Mort Jr., who passed away at 19-years-old in 1996 from a drug-related reaction.

Mort Jr. was his only son, and Sahl has no immediate surviving family members.

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