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Comedy Birthdays, July 23 – 29

Monday, July 23

Don Imus, radio personality, July 23, comedian birthdaysDon Imus is a radio personality who has been around forever. He was inducted in Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, which shows it was a slow year for radio.

The original shock-jock, he was known for pulling stunts like ordering 1200 hamburgers from a fast-food restaurant and giving specific instructions on how each one was to be prepared. In the 1970s, there was a series of record LPs featuring his pranks. Today they are used as skeet shooting targets.

His show IMUS IN THE MORNING on MSNBC is seen by almost dozens of sad and lonely people.

Woody Harrelson, July 23 birthday Woody Harrelson started his career playing Woody on the television show CHEERS.From those humble beginnings Woody has become A NATURAL BORN KILLER, a FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, a DEFENDOR & a GRANDMANAGEMENT MESSENGER SEMI-PRO SURFER DUDE SLEEPWALKING SCANNER DARKLY WALKER from THE NORTH COUNTRY with THE BIG WHITE ANGER MANAGEMENT WILDCAT PALMETTO that is SCORCHED AFTER THE SUNSET.Born in Midland, Texas he makes us want to WAG THE DOG.Oh, he also was Jones-ing for a Twinkie in ZOMBIE-LAND.
Marlon Wayans, July 23, comedian, birthdaysAs a part of the huge group of Wayans creating movies and television, Marlon Wayans has been making people laugh for decades. He became known for some of his characters in the groundbreaking television show IN LIVING COLOR.That in turn gave viewers THE WAYANS BROS., a sitcom that ran for five seasons.He was in SCARY MOVIE 1 & 2, played a WHITE CHICK and a LITTLE MAN. To prove he could pick bad scripts, he was also in NORBIT.He is quoted as saying “You need to be lucky in life but it's also what you do with your luck.”That luck is being born in the right family.

Tuesday, July 24

Ruth Buzzi, July 24, birthdays, counter-culture comedy

Ruth Buzzi was one of the first big names in the counter-culture comedy.

Appearing on every episode, she was one of the stars of LAUGH-IN a show known for having Richard Nixon say “Sock it to me, Baby!” Some think that TV appearance was the reason Nixon won the presidency. Those same people have never forgiven LAUGH-IN. On a weekly basis, she got to see young Goldie Hawn in a bikini–something most American men envied.

With over 100 credits on her acting resume, Ruth has been a very busy lady. Most of these credits are for animation features and shows.

She now calls Ft. Worth her home.

Michael Richards, Kramer from Seinfeld, July 24, comedian birthdaysKramer from SEINFELD… Need we say more?Three Emmy Awards… Need we say more?We here at ComedyGuys.com have loved Michael Richards from his turn as the janitor Stanley Spadowski in the Weird Al film UHF.He made his first big splash on the late night show FRIDAYS, a skit-inspired program known for having Andy Kaufman go crazy while on live TV.

Michael Richards is also known for having his own late night breakdown on an LA comedy club stage by dropping an “N-bomb” to some hecklers. He is still banned from the club but welcomed at certain meeting that happen “down by the docks.” It seems to have been an incident that almost killed his performing career. I would think that being on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM would have done that.

 Wednesday, July 25

Walter Brennan, July 25, comedian birthdays

Walter Brennan was a character actor best known for Western roles. He was a winner of three Supporting Role Actor Oscars and had 4 top 100 singles.

His least successful single was “Do it in the bush.”

Walter was in the great Western comedies SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF with the great James Garner and on the television show THE REAL MCCOYS. He worked such greats as Humphrey Bogart, Tim Conway, Milton Berle, James Stewart and John Wayne. (Lucille Ball also worked with all those men)

His advice to young actors was “Go ahead and learn how to act, but don't get caught at it.”

Estelle Getty, Golden Girl, July 25, comedian birthdaysOur favorite GOLDEN GIRL, Estelle Getty also appeared in STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT and MANNEQUIN.This former New Yorker made a career out of playing mothers, whether they be Southern or Northern, Jewish or Italian.She was quoted as saying “Age does not bring you wisdom. Age brings you wrinkles.” and “If there are two things you want to do in life and one of them is acting…do the other.”She left this mortal coil on July 22, 2008 but lives in our hearts and on TV LAND until the end of days.

 Thursday, July 26

Jeremy Piven, July 26, comedian birthdays

The poster boy for cocaine abuse, Jeremy Piven comes from a family of actors who ran a theater school.  Can we guess who played hooky most days?  He played the bad dean in OLD SCHOOL, bad guy Buddy Israel in SMOKIN' ACES and bad bachelor party reveler in VERY BAD THINGS.  But he has yet to be typecast.

He once shared an apartment with John Cusack, something that Cusack has yet to recover from.  The pair have made almost a dozen films together, so Jeremy Piven must know where the incriminating photos of John Cusack are hidden.

While filming the comedy PCU, he contracted the disease malaria and since then has contracted many other diseases catting around bars in Hollywood.

Blake Edwards, July 26, comedian birthdaysAs a comedy director/writer, Blake Edwards has few equals.Starting in the 1950s he made such films as THE PINK PANTHER series, VICTOR/VICTORIA, 10, SOB, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and THE PARTY.  He worked with such comedy actors as Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and John Ritter.He received an honorary Oscar in 2004 which was presented to him by Jim Carrey, showing that Hollywood has no concept of irony.Married to Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards got her to take her top off in SOB.  You can still hear Walt Disney turning in his grave over that.
Ethyl Mertz, I LOVE LUCY, Vivian Vance, July 26, comedian birthdaysAs Ethyl Mertz on I LOVE LUCY, Vivian Vance will live in the icon status of television history.  She played on 177 episodes of the show was the first person to win a Best Supporting Actress.  Her feuds with co-star William Frawleywere legendary to the point of exaggeration. On the announcement of his death, she bought champagne for everyone in the restaurant she was dining at.She appeared in both THE GREAT HOUDINI and THE GREAT RACE.  And she hoped to play in THE GREAT GATBSY and THE GREAT ESCAPEbecause she just really liked the word ‘great'.She was once quoted as saying “When I die, there will be people who send flowers to Ethel Mertz.”  That happened on August 17, 1979.
Gracie Allen, July 26, comedian birthdaysGeorge Burns & Gracie Allenwere a comedy team that came up from the ranks of Vaudeville. In her thirty plus roles, she almost always played a character named Gracie, which made it easier for her to understand the character.In the 1930s and 1940s Burns & Allen were the toasts of both Broadway and Hollywood, just a comfortable on stage as they were on screen.  Their TV show in the 1950s was one the first major successes of the medium.

She described her Gracie character as “the kind of girl who shortens the cord on the electric iron to save electricity”.

She started a mock presidential campaign in 1940 with the slogan “my girdle is killing me.”

Fun Fact: she has a rose named after her.

Allen left this world on August 27, 1964

 Friday, July 27

Norman Lear, July 27, comedian birthdays

In the 1970s, one could not turn on television without seeing a work by Norman Lear.  He is the creator of ALL IN THE FAMILY a show that changed television and introduced the world to Archie Bunker.  This led to GOOD TIMES, MAUDE, THE JEFFERSON'S, SANFORD AND SON and ONE DAY AT A TIME just to name a few.  

These were basically spin-offs of each other.  Some of the lesser spin-off successes were SANFORD AND MAUDE, ONE DAY IN THE FAMILY and ALL IN A TIME.

He also produced THE PRINCESS BRIDE which means he worked with Rob Reiner more than once.  Brave, brave soul.

in the 1990s there was an attempt to re-ignite the creative flame with a series of shows.  That idea snuffed out mid-season.

Betty Thomas, July 27, comedian birthdaysAs an actress, Betty Thomashad an unusual start: while teaching, she started waiting tables at Chicago's famous Second-City Theatre, which led to her joining the cast.Leaving the live stage for the film set, Thomas was in the great film USED CARS early in her career, but she is better remembered for her Emmy-winning role in the police drama HILL STREET BLUES.

Thomas next moved into directing, serving behind the helm of such films as THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, PRIVATE PARTS, DOCTOR DOLITTLE and JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE.  

She hails from St. Louis proving that one can actually escape that city unscathed.

Sibling of Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke, July 27, comedian birthdaysSibling of Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke lived in the shadow of his brother. Where Dick had THE DICK VAN DYKE show, Jerry MY MOTHER THE CAR considered one of the worst television programs of the 1960s.As a stand-up and nightclub performer, Jerry was successful just not known.

But all that changed when he landed the role of Luther Van Dam on the TV series COACH.  This role earned him four consecutive Emmy nods in almost 200 episodes.

Today he runs a soda shop in Arkansas.  From being second banana with Craig T. Nelson to making banana splits for hillbillies, one could argue that his career has nowhere to go but up.

Bill Engvall, July 27, comedian birthdaysAs one of the stars of the BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR, Bill Engvallis a master of the one-liner.Bill's big catch phrase is “Here's your sign.”Some of his lesser known catch phrases are, “There's your placard,”  “You sure are stupid, aren't you?,” “Yes, I know Larry the Cable Guy,” and “You may be a Hillbilly if…”

He was the star of THE BILL ENGVALL show a program he wanted to make more popular by calling it THE JEFF FOXWORTHY/LARRY THE CABLE GUY SHOW.  

He lives with the concept that he is still more famous and less drunk than Ron White.

Saturday, July 28

creator of of GARFIELD, Jim Davis, July 28, comedian birthdays

As the creator of of GARFIELD, there is a certain level of Hell that Jim Davis will attain.

This “artist” has been crafting the adventures of a lasagna eating cat for decades now and someday he will write something funny.  He has turned us from being ambivalent to cats to hating their very essence.

We here at ComedyGuys just wish we had a tenth of his money.

Sally Struthers, Gloria on All in the Family, July 28, comedian birthdaysSally Struthers is best known for playing Gloria on ALL IN THE FAMILY. Her character was more of the buffer between the two opposing viewpoints of Archie and Michael ‘Meathead.'Since then she has been doing voice-over work and stage work, including such plays as ANNIE and THE FULL MONTY. She didn't have to get naked for either role.

Struthers has been a long-time spokesperson for the Christian Children's Fund, asking Americans to give their money to feed the needy.

We here at ComedyGuys.com have been doing a parallel charity, helping out twenty-something ‘college students' who work in such shoddy conditions that they have to dance in their underwear.  We have been donating one folded dollar at a time with a two drink minimum.

She was quoted as saying “Acting is cheap group therapy, being a schizo fifty different ways.  And we're paid!”

 Sunday, July 29

Josh Radnor, July 28, Comedian birthdays

Most people know actor Josh Radnor from his Emmy-winning role on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.

His first break was playing a waiter in BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE and today he performs with Jason Segel.  So he has a career that is so far bookended with two giant scary monsters.

He was also the writer/director/actor for HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE, a title that shows you do not have to use a space bar to be successful.

In his newest film LIBERAL ARTS, the actor plays a character who has a passionate affair with the very young Elizabeth Olsen. Lucky, lucky him…


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