October 26, 2021
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -U.S. comedian Mort Sahl, widely considered the father of modern political satire, has died at the age of 94, the New York Times and Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The newspapers cited a friend who said Sahl died at his home near San Francisco. She did not give a cause of death. Reuters could not immediately independently confirm the death.
Sahl was credited with influencing comedians such as George Carlin, Woody Allen and Jonathan Winters. He was also a friend of another comedy mold-breaker, Lenny Bruce, although his act did not include profanity as Bruce’s did.
His “Mort Sahl at Sunset,” released in 1955, was the first stand-up comedy album and three years later, he had a Broadway show.
Morton Lyon Sahl was born in Montreal on May 11, 1927, and grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Southern California, and moved to the San Francisco area in the early 1950s to try comedy. He lived in his car part of the time before building a following at San Francisco’s legendary hungry I nightclub and then going on the road.
By 1960, Sahl had become so popular that Time magazine, which called him “Will Rogers with fangs,” put him on its cover – the first time a comedian had ever been so honored.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Bill Trott; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney)