Lifestyle & Human Interest

Comedian Rip Taylor Dead at Age 84


Comedian Rip Taylor, also known as the “King of Confetti,” has died. He passed away Sunday in Beverly Hills at the age of 84.

Taylor’s longtime publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed the death, according to CNN. Boll told CNN that Taylor had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a seizure last week.

“The greatest joy Rip had in life was the result of making others laugh,” Boll said. “He didn’t have an easy childhood. Abused and bullied, he said he discovered early, that they weren’t hitting you if they were laughing.”

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Charles Elmer Taylor was born in 1935 in Washington, D.C.

Taylor served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and began entertaining troops while in the military.

“A master of comedic timing and a consummate showman, Rip has headlined in Las Vegas, appeared on hundreds of television shows, played the lead in various plays and musicals, and frequently taken a dramatic turn in feature films,” his biography on the website reads. “It is no exaggeration to say that Rip Taylor has succeeded in every facet of the entertainment industry.”

Taylor’s big break came from an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” according to the website. Sullivan, who could not remember the guest comedian’s name, introduced Taylor as “The Crying Comedian,” based on what Sullivan remembered about Taylor’s schtick.

Taylor was able to fake-cry in a hilarious way that left audiences in stitches, and the seemingly simple but memorable act helped propel his career forward.

Taylor became a highly sought-after television personality throughout the 1970s and 80s, regularly appearing on “The Merv Griffin Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night With David Letterman,” “Hollywood Squares” and “The Gong Show,” his website states.

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With a zany, energetic, funny personality, Taylor was the perfect fit for television game shows. He was the host of the odd television show, “The $1.98 Beauty Show” and often appeared on “Match Game,” and “Super Password.”

Taylor earned his moniker as “The Confetti King” for regularly showering his audiences with buckets of confetti during his performances. His humor was quick, often self-deprecating, and unabashedly corny.

“He lived up to his reputation,” Boll told CNN. “He was called the ‘Prince of Pandemonium.'”

In addition to making more than 2,000 television appearances, Taylor was a voice actor, bringing life to animated characters on “The Jetsons,” “Tom and Jerry: The Movie” and “The Addams Family,” as Uncle Fester.

On film, Taylor played himself in the movie “Wayne’s World 2” and in the “Jackass” franchise.

Taylor’s exaggerated comedic performances delighted audiences for more than four decades. He will be missed.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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