It seems fitting, if sad, that Ed Koch should pass away on the same day that "Koch," a documentary about his life, opened in Manhattan. Though the three-term mayor of New York City, who died early Friday of congestive heart failure, is best known for overseeing the city during the dark days of the late 1970s and '80s, hizzoner was also a prolific and indefatigable media personality who appeared as himself in dozens of television shows, commercials, movies and news broadcasts over the years.
Koch began carving out a second career on camera well before he left office. In 1983, he became the first New York mayor to host "Saturday Night Live." In the sketch above, he stars opposite Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo in a commercial for "Bald No More," a magical tonic that transforms his chrome dome into a Don King-esque mane. While serving as mayor, Koch also appeared in "The Muppets Take Manhattan," the NBC sitcom "Gimme a Break!" and in Woody Allen's "New York Stories."
After he moved out of Gracie Mansion in 1989, Koch continued to court the limelight, making cameos in series including "Spin City," "The Critic" and "Sex and the City." Though he was no longer a public servant, Koch, like Woody Allen or Robert DeNiro, seemed to personify the city in a way that resonated far beyond the five boroughs.