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Mort Sahl

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 1988
The Mort Sahl show at the Westwood Playhouse will close Oct. 29, instead of Nov. 1 as originally scheduled. Two additional shows are included in the new performance schedule, which now runs Oct. 24-29, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17.50. Reservations: (213) 208-5454 or (213) 410-1062.
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NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Comedian Phyllis Diller, who died in Los Angeles on Monday at age 95, was never shy. Her personal life -- as a housewife and as a woman with distinctive features -- became part of her stand-up routine. It also created the fodder for two books: "The Joys of Aging -- and How to Avoid Them" and "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. " Diller began making a name for herself in 1955 at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. She was a rare female comic in the stand-up world and soon perfected a rapid-fire banter that poked fun at domesticity and suburbia.
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NEWS
February 7, 1988 | TRACY WILKINSON, Times Staff Writer
It was not the star-studded fund-raiser that most presidential candidates hope for when they come to Los Angeles. "Tinsel isn't attracted to Al Haig," the retired general and long-shot Republican contender said. "Tinsel goes after the front-runners."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2008 | Amy Kaufman, Special to The Times
Mort Sahl stands before a classroom of college students, his eyes widening as he watches images of old Hollywood. He walks in front of the movie projector for a moment, his shadow interrupting a fiery on-screen embrace between Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. "This is probably the best love scene I ever saw in a movie," he said, shaking his head.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 1990 | RIP RENSE, Rense is a Sherman Oaks writer.
To say Mort Sahl is funny is to point merely to the tip of this particular iceberg. He also has keen insight, facile memory, wit and book-learning. "Mort is essentially a wise man, " said John Hart, veteran NBC newsman now anchoring the daily "World Monitor" report on the Discovery Channel, and a longtime admirer of Sahl's work. "He is not a joke-teller so much as a truth-teller," Hart said from his home in Boston. "The reason you laugh is that you recognize the truth.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 1987 | LAWRENCE CHRISTON, Times Staff Writer
The announcement a few days ago that Alexander Haig would run for President in '88 prompted the line, "He threw his helmet in the ring," a resoundingly appropriate tag that was picked up by every news commentator and host from "Good Morning America" to "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour." For a moment, amid all this Iranscam wrangle and gloomy questioning of presidential competency, it put a bounce into our step. Somebody was finding fun in the ongoing murkiness of public life.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 1987 | LAWRENCE CHRISTON, Times Staff Writer
Nobody knew what to make of Mort Sahl as word began to build about his Broadway debut at the Neil Simon Theater on Sunday. There's a subtle totalitarianism in American cultural life that tends to make a non-person of anyone who doesn't regularly appear on TV or in the tabloid media. Younger interviewers tended to view him as a fossil draped in an Eisenhower jacket. Even more mature reporters had trouble handling him as an ironist in an age of sensation.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 1987 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Times Arts Editor
It is tempting to say that Mort Sahl is back, but the nearer truth is that he was never really away. It is just that he has had to spend some time as an itinerant preacher while his main constituency decided what targets required his missionary satiric zeal. He has been writing screenplays, punctuated by brief gigs here and elsewhere around the country, and he recently returned from a hugely successful multiweek run in Australia.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 1998 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mort Sahl and jazz. It's been a happy combination since the 1950s. Sahl with his quick-witted monologues, flitting from topic to topic, ideas bursting out in a stream of seemingly random free associations. Jazz musicians with the sudden inventiveness that is at the core of improvisation, musical riffs bouncing off one another, whipping through the flow of chord changes.
NEWS
October 22, 1992 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Dennis McLellan is a Times staff writer who regularly covers comedy for O.C. Live!
During his rise to fame in the 1950s, a time when most stand-up comics were doing mother-in-law jokes, Mort Sahl was deftly skewering President Eisenhower, Vice-President Nixon and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Time magazine anointed the hip satirist with a cover story, dubbing him "Will Rogers with fangs." Another observer, referring to his stream-of-conscious, anti-Establishment delivery, called him the "Rebel Without a Pause."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 2007
Jay Leno, Albert Brooks, Bill Maher, Paula Poundstone and David Brenner will be among the comedians saluting Mort Sahl on his 80th birthday in a benefit for the Heartland Comedy Foundation on June 28. The event, to be held at the Wadsworth Theater in Brentwood, is open to the public, with tickets ranging from $100 to $200. Larry King is scheduled to serve as emcee. Others on the bill include Drew Carey, Jonathan Winters, Shelley Berman and Richard Lewis.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2007 | AL MARTINEZ
HEARING that Mort Sahl had turned 80 was the social equivalent of realizing that one's high school sweetheart was now a grandmother. It forced an abrupt acceptance of passing years and, in Sahl's case, of a passing era when we were young and loud and demanding of a better, smarter world. In the long run we didn't get either, but the 1960s was at least a time of coming to grips with our shortcomings, and Sahl was there to point them out.
NEWS
July 27, 2006 | Mark Sachs
HE used to run with the Rat Pack and drive muscle cars with Steve McQueen, so life has understandably slowed down just a bit for comedian Mort Sahl, now 79 and residing in Tarzana with wife Kenslea. Yet he's still up for taking potshots at today's newsmakers, and he'll do so at a rare club appearance Saturday at McCabe's. Here's how he gets locked and loaded with ammunition. Meat, potatoes guy On a Friday, I like to go out to dinner at Carmine's in West L.A.
OPINION
June 28, 2006
Re "Coulter's a satirist -- no kidding?" Opinion, June 24 Anyone who would seriously attempt to classify Ann Coulter as a satirist or literary comedian needs to consult a dictionary. Coulter, though often blatantly blunt, is one of a handful of writers who tells it like it is with substantiated, verifiable, factual proof. What separates her work from that of the true satirists and comedians is her consistent flow of truth -- even though it rubs ultraliberals the wrong way and drives the politically correct up the wall.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 2001 | PAUL BROWNFIELD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In August, comedian Mort Sahl performed two nights at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, as the opening act for Woody Allen. The order was somewhat backward, given that Allen once said of Sahl: "Watching him made me want to be a stand-up comedian." In the event, Allen was appearing not as a comic but as an abashed clarinetist, sitting in with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band to promote his then-forthcoming film "Curse of the Jade Scorpion."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 1998 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Pianist Marian McPartland seemed in a particularly humorous mood Wednesday on the opening night of a three-night run at the Jazz Bakery. She dedicated John Coltrane's "Red Planet" to Dennis Rodman, and Chick Corea's "Windows" to Bill Gates. Before playing a certain Duke Ellington theme, she claimed that Lawrence Welk always called the tune "Take a Train."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 1996 | CHUCK CRISAFULLI SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Now, where was I?" Mort Sahl must have asked that a dozen times during his performance Sunday night at the Tiffany Theatre. But the answer never really made much difference. Wherever his wittily digressive tales took him--from the White House to Barbra Streisand's house--the veteran comic set to gleefully illuminating political absurdities and deflating celebrity pretensions.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1987
So, Mort Sahl doesn't like the work his publicists are doing for him ("Fear and Loathing on Broadway," by Lawrence Christon, Nov. 1). Does he think his wife China does any better when she dismisses "Jewish housewives" in her search for "eager minds" to pack the house at his premiere? Tell us, China, are Jewish housewives incapable of keeping up with the Living Legend's rapier wit because they're Jewish or because they're housewives? If China represents her husband's thinking, call me an ex-fan of Mort Sahl.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 1998 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mort Sahl and jazz. It's been a happy combination since the 1950s. Sahl with his quick-witted monologues, flitting from topic to topic, ideas bursting out in a stream of seemingly random free associations. Jazz musicians with the sudden inventiveness that is at the core of improvisation, musical riffs bouncing off one another, whipping through the flow of chord changes.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 1996 | CHUCK CRISAFULLI SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Now, where was I?" Mort Sahl must have asked that a dozen times during his performance Sunday night at the Tiffany Theatre. But the answer never really made much difference. Wherever his wittily digressive tales took him--from the White House to Barbra Streisand's house--the veteran comic set to gleefully illuminating political absurdities and deflating celebrity pretensions.
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