Comedian and actor Jackie Mason, who achieved fame with his one-man shows on Broadway, has died aged 93.
The rabbi-turned-stand-up comic passed away on Saturday (July 24) at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan after being hospitalised for over two weeks, longtime friend and celebrity lawyer Raoul Felder told The Associated Press.
Mason’s 1986 one-man show The World According to Me! won a Special Tony Award and an Emmy Award, and his 1988 special Jackie Mason on Broadway won him another Emmy (for outstanding writing).
He had a recurring role on The Simpsons, providing the voice of Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, the father of Krusty the Clown, for which he won his third Emmy in 1992. He most recently voiced the character in 2014, and appeared as himself in a 2007 episode of 30 Rock. His film credits include Steve Martin’s The Jerk, and Caddyshack II.
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The star’s style of comedy encapsulated Jewish themes and political incorrectness, and he is considered one of the last of the Borscht Belt comedians. In the 2004 TV special Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time, he ranked No. 63. Famous lines included: “Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.”
He also once joked: “I was so self-conscious, every time football players went into a huddle; I thought they were talking about me.”
Celebrities paid tribute to Mason on Twitter, with Simpsons writer/producer Al Jean posting: “I feel like Krusty. We will very much miss Jackie Mason.”
Actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein wrote: “A comic genius and a pain in the ass. This man could get a laugh reading the weather. His rhythms and delivery were master classes in comedy. Farewell, Jackie. Farewell.”
Mason is survived by his wife Jyll Rosenfeld, whom he married in 1991, and a daughter.