R.I.P. Marty Allen, comedian and game show favorite
Image: The Everett Collection
With his bug-eyes and electro-shock hair, Marty Allen made for one unforgettable figure on a television screen. But the comic, born Morton David Alpern, was more than just a wild look spouting a catchphrase, "Hello dere." The stand-up worked countless hours in the clubs, from New York to Hollywood with several stops in Vegas, working his way to earn the nickname "The Darling of Daytime TV."
Allen broke through as one half of the comedy duo Allen & Rossi, alongside Steve Rossi. The two slayed on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing on the star-making variety series a whopping 44 times. When the Beatles make a breakthrough performance in 1964, Allen was there. He quipped, "I'm Ringo's mother!"
As an actor, Allen turned up on a handful of diverse series — an episode of The Big Valley here, a romantic turn in an episode of Love, American Style there. He even played Edgar Allan Poe in an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Allen & Rossi made the jump to the big screen, starring in the movie The Last of the Secret Agents? in 1966. The twosome parted ways in 1968 after nearly a dozen years of teamwork.
From there, Allen continued to bring big laughs to the stage and to daytime television, especially as a frequent guest on the series The Hollywood Squares and Password. On Monday, the comedy legend died in Vegas at the age of 95, as reported by Variety. His wife and performing partner wife Karon Kate Blackwell was by his side.