Monday, July 6, 2015

The comedian Jack Carter has died at 93.

The New York Times reports:

Jack Carter, a motor-mouthed comedian who became one of television’s first stars in the late 1940s and continued working, as both a comic and an actor, well into the 21st century, died on [June 28] at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. . . .

Early in his career Mr. Carter filled in for Milton Berle, television’s biggest star at the time, who was taking a three-week vacation from his hit show. Asked then about his ambitions as an entertainer, Mr. Carter simply said, “I’d like to last.”

He succeeded. Mr. Carter was appearing on television into his 90s, with roles on “Desperate Housewives,” “Parks and Recreation,” “New Girl” and other shows, most recently “Shameless.” Until late in life he was also still working the condo circuit in South Florida, as he had been since the 1980s, tailoring his jokes to an audience of his contemporaries.
He was hilarious on Shameless, playing the irascible, racially insensitive owner of the neighborhood bar, which is the only time I've seen him. Spoiler alert — it's poignant to think that his last significant performance, shortly before he died, was in Season 4 of Shameless, playing his character's dead body.

UPDATE: More from my mom, Ann Althouse.