The world just got a little less funny now that comedian Jackie Mason has passed away. Mason, the controversial comedian known for his politically incorrect humor, made his name through a string of one-man Broadway shows, although he also had a recurring voice role on The Simpsons. The New York Times reports that Mason died Saturday in a Manhattan hospital, according to his longtime friend Raoul Felder. He was 93.
Mason was born Yacov Moshe Maza on June 9, 1928, to a long line of rabbis. Later he became a rabbi himself and led congregations, after which he saw non-Jews come in to hear his jokes in the sermons. After his father’s death, Mason resigned from Rabbit to focus on his comedic work. While his act was considered too controversial for some venues, Mason was able to pick up spots on TV shows like: The Steve Allen Show, The Tonight Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show, introducing him to the mainstream public.
Beginning in 1986, Mason did a two-year run on Broadway of his one-man show The world I think to great acclaim. It won a Special Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Ace Award, an Emmy Award, and a Grammy nomination. He later won another Emmy for outstanding writing for Jackie Mason on Broadway along with an Ace Award. Mason went on to develop many more acclaimed one-man comedy shows in the following years and had even started posting video blog posts on YouTube.
Though best known for his comedy, Mason made sporadic acting appearances over the years. He provided the voice of Krusty the Clown’s father on The Simpsons, starting with the 1991 episode “Like Father, Like Clown”. The character is a rabbi who has a strained relationship with Krusty because he doesn’t approve of his son becoming a clown. Mason’s work on the episode earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, being the first Simpsons guest star to win an Emmy for his role.
Rabbi Krustofski was later murdered in the 2014 episode “Clown in the Dumps”, which was preceded by a marketing campaign promoting the death of one of the show’s characters. Although Rabbi Krustofski died, Mason continued to voice the character in subsequent episodes of The Simpsons, finally featured in the episode “Woo-Hoo Dunnit?” He generally appeared in ten episodes of the series over a period of about three decades.
His other TV acting credits include: The weird fairies parents, 30 Rock, and Chicken soup. He also had roles in movies like The Acorn, Caddyshack II, and stiff. The comedian also played himself in the courtroom dramady an angry man in 2010. In 2011, Mason starred in the comedy Goldberg P.I. as a private investigator in Miami. Meanwhile, Mason also published the autobiography Jackie, oooh! In 1988, which was co-written with Ken Gross.
Mason’s survivors include his wife, Jyll Rosenfeld, and a daughter. We offer our condolences to them at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Jackie Mason. This news comes from The New York Times.
Topics: Obituaries, The Simpsons