Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Rip Taylor.

He first achieved fame as "The Crying Comedian," doing an act that included "woe is me" one-liners that were punctuated with mock hysterics and tears. Ed Sullivan loved him, and booked him often.

He even issued an odd single, "How Does It Feel?" which had him chuckling to an ex who has endured a breakup. "Does it hurt? Heh heh. Are you blue? Ha ha ha." Chorus: "How does it feel now that it's happened to you?"

Not exactly "I Wanna Be Around," but...sort of Tony Bennett on helium.

Perhaps a few Demento trivia fans would put it on the same warped shelf as Allen Swift's cover of "Are You Lonesome Tonight," which, more in the Taylor-made vein, has him breaking out into comical sobs and rages.

We all know what happened after a while: Rip Taylor morphed into the zany, confetti-throwing kind of desperate sight gags and outrageous one-liners, his wild eyebrows matched by his mountainous wig, which made him look quite a bit like Frank Morgan's doorkeeper character in "The Wizard of Oz."

When I was editing RAVE ("the Playbill of comedy clubs") I had the good fortune to sit in with Rip as he guested on the Alan Colmes radio show, and then walk around midtown with him afterward. He was kindly, fun, and a great guy.

Julie's main connection with Rip Taylor was co-starring in a sketch with him for the hour-long "Minsky's Follies," which was released on VHS by RKO Video.

Here's Julie at a little "memorial" to Rip, with some of Taylor's friends. In the purple, to the left of Julie, is the Laugh-In legend Joanne Worley.


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