Comedian Norm Crosby, deadpan mangler of words, dead at 93

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Norm Crosby performs during the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon on Aug. 31, 2003 in Los Angeles. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Master of the malaprop had 1970s TV show, co-hosted telethon for muscular dystrophy

CBC

November 10, 2020

Norm Crosby, the deadpan mangler of the English language who thrived in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s as a television, nightclub and casino comedian, has died.

He was 93.

Crosby’s daughter-in-law, Maggie Crosby, told The New York Times that the comic died Saturday of heart failure in Los Angeles.

Early in his career, Crosby had realized he needed a gimmick to differentiate himself from the burgeoning generation of comedians who were achieving fame on the many network TV variety shows.

He says as he was looking around for fresh ideas, he kept hearing people misuse words, so he started to use it in his act.

Starting in 1978, he starred in a syndicated TV show, Norm Crosby’s Comedy Shop.

For many years he served as co-host with Jerry Lewis on the Labour Day weekend telethon for muscular dystrophy.

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