Mort Sahl Remembered by Richard Lewis, Laraine Newman and More: 'Most Influential Standup Comic in History'

Sahl’s comedic colleagues pay tribute to him and his work in the world of humor

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Following the announcement of comedian Mort Sahl’s death at the age of 94, many of his former peers and followers have shared past experiences and fond memories of him.

Journey Gunderson, executive director of the National Comedy Center wrote in a statement sent to TheWrap, “Mort Sahl revolutionized stand-up comedy as true social commentary and political satire, setting the stage for Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers and so many more, and influencing generations of comedians who continue push boundaries and speak truth to power. The National Comedy Center joins the comedy community in marking his passing and celebrating his indelible legacy.”

Director and Executive Producer of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Robert Weide called Sahl “not only the most influential standup comedian in the history of the medium” but “pound for pound, the funniest, most innovative comedian of them all” in his tweet.

Comedian John Fugelsang quoted Sahl in several tweets.

American comedian Richard Lewis paid tribute to the “iconic Mort Sahl” on Twitter, writing “I’ll miss that red sweater. I loved you pal.”

In a tweet, Canadian-American comedian Maurice Lamarche wrote “So sad to learn of #MorteSahl’s passing. He was extremely kind and encouraging to me as a young comic when I first moved to Los Angeles. RIP, Mort, and thank you.”

Stand-up comedian Johnny Taylor Jr. paid tribute in a tweet, writing “Rest in peace to the legendary political comedian Mort Sahl. A commanding presence to the very end.”

Humorist Dan Wilbur tweeted his tribute along with annotated screenshots of an obituary.

MSNBC analyst Fernand Amandi tweeted “#RIP Mort Sahl you warrior for truth.”

Frequent voice of “The Simpsons” Harry Shearer wrote, “He just invented modern American political satire, is all. And while he was best known for stinging wit, he was always an expert joke writer.”

Comedy writer Alan Zweibel tweeted, “Everyone in the comedy world, whether they realize it or not, owes a debt of gratitude to Mort Sahl.”

Original cast member of “Saturday Night Live” Laraine Newman paid tribute with a memory: “One of the many times I’ve bombed onstage was when Mort Sahl was there. Afterwards he said to me ‘they (the audience) just didn’t want to listen.’ Whether he meant it or was just trying to soften the blow I never forgot that and was always so grateful.”

Writer Jason Diamond tied Sahl’s death to the recent events surrounding Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer.”

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