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Larry Daniels, a popular stand-up comic of the 1950s and ’60s who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and at the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City, has died. He was 92.
Daniels died Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Jewish Home in Reseda, his son, entertainment attorney and producer Larry Daniels Jr., told The Hollywood Reporter. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Back in the day, Daniels gave Woody Allen one of his first writing jobs, his son noted, and was a supporter of African Americans who were prohibited from performing at some clubs because of their race.
Daniels opened for singer Johnny Mathis in Las Vegas, and the pair took their show to the Copa in 1960. He also told jokes on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show and on Jack Parr’s Tonight Show.
Daniels did a bit about a scared-silly airline passenger on a D.C. jet, with jokes like, “I always wondered what D.C. could stand for. Delightful cruise? No, doomed cargo,” and, “I got the insurance, $400,000, and my wife’s the beneficiary. Come to think of it, she talked me into flying.”
The Brooklyn native also performed at such venues as the Eden Roc in Miami Beach, the Palmer House in Chicago and the Versailles in New York. He was in the revue Meet the People on Broadway, and showed up in the 1945 film Road to Utopia and on TV’s Make Room for Daddy, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and Phyllis.
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Daniels started out in vaudeville as a kid. He spent four years as an entertainment director for the Army Air Force stationed in China, Burma and India, where he produced, wrote and directed musicals for the troops.
In addition to his son, survivors include his wife, Peggy, who worked as the associate director on NBC’s Your Show of Shows; daughter Meg McGarry; and grandchildren Sophia, Lawrence and Alexander Daniels and Paris and Flynn McGarry.
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