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Mort Sahl


B: May 11, 1927 in Montréal, Québec
D: October 26, 2021 in Mill Valley, California

Born in Montréal to a Canadian mother and a New York father who managed a tobacco shop, Morton Lyon Sahl and his family moved to the United States where his father worked for the Department of Justice in various cities. Mort Sahl attended the University of Southern California and began to work as a stand-up comic on stages throughout Los Angeles. In late 1953 he travelled north to San Francisco to try his hand at the big time. He was hired to perform at the legendary nightclub, The Hungry I, to fill in for a singer. While most comedians of the 1940s and 1950s told stock jokes about wives and mothers-in-law, Sahl turned to the news for material. The political climate of the 1950s was ripe for comic satire. He went on to release several comedy albums and became a frequent guest on The Steve Allen Show. In August of 1960, Time Magazine pictured Sahl on its cover and called him “the patriarch of a new school of comedians,” including in that group such stand-up legends as Lenny Bruce and Jonathan Winters. In 2007 Albert Brooks told the Associated Press “Every comedian who is not doing wife jokes has to thank him for that. He really was the first, even before Lenny Bruce, in terms of talking about stuff, not just doing punch lines.” Mort Sahl was 94 when he died at his home in California.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

In Love and War (1958)

All the Young Men (1960)
Johnny Cool (1963)
Doctor, You’ve Got to be Kidding (1967)
Don’t Make Waves (1967)

Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1975)

Inside the Third Reich (TV-1982)
Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

TV Series – Cast:
That Was The Week That Was (1964)