R.I.P. Jackie Mason, the comedian who famously feuded with Ed Sullivan

The Emmy-winning actor had a career that spanned over half a century

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Jackie Mason, Emmy and Tony-winning comedican and actor, passed away at the age of 93.

Before discovering entertainment, Mason became a rabbi, just like his own father and grandfather. At age 28, he quit the synagoge in favor of a career in comedy. By the 1960s, his career had taken off and he was making up to $10,000 (equivalent today to $83,000) weekly performing in New York nightclubs.

His career hit a hitch with a famous tiff with Ed Sullivan. In 1964, during a stand-up performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Ed Sullivan held up two fingers off-camera to indicate that Mason had two minutes to wrap up his routine. Mason began incorporating his hands into the act, which Sullivan reportedly misinterpreted as Mason making an obscene gesture. Sullivan cancelled Mason's $45,000 appearance contract, and Sullivan's influence in the entertainment industry meant that Mason was labeled as obscene and difficult to work with for decades to come.

Mason sued Sullivan for libel over the damage to his career. Two years later, Sullivan had Mason back on the show and publicly apologized to the comedian. Mason would go on to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show five more times.

Younger fans may recall Mason from his recurring role on The Simpsons as Rabbi Krustofski, which won him his third Emmy award.


 
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DanielZabo 1 month ago
$45,000 appearance fee? Holycrap that was Hugh dough back in 1964. To be honest his act wasn’t worth that kind of bread. ( only my opinion that is) To be honest I never thought this guy was funny and always had the same Jewish routine of his comedy act. Not like that hasn’t been done a million times over and over in Hollyweird?
With that I’ll just say R.I.P. Mr. jackie mason
vinman63 1 month ago
Krusty the clown’s dad died.
1 month ago
Jackie Mason was a brilliant, funny insightful man, but I remember being shocked when he walked off a talk show because a black man was also booked on the show. I was gravely disappointed in him.
dangler1907 Pilaf 1 month ago
Mason described himself as "an equal opportunity abuser.” His targets ranged from Jewish people to black people to Frank Sinatra and the "Italian gang".
Arjay118 1 month ago
I am saddened to read that comedian Jackie Mason has passed. He was my late parents favorite comic. And do I have fond wonderful memories of this hysterical entertainer. The first memory is when he accepted and had breakfast at my parents house in Pikesville, Maryland. And the second memory is when my mother and I took a bus trip to see him on Broadway. Sadly, I got off the bus with a raging headache, so I spent the entire show in the ladies room with a hot cloth on my head. When the show was over, my mother came to collect me and we made our way backstage to kibbitz. When he asked us how we liked the show ("Jackie Mason's The World According To Me!"), I was so afraid to tell him I spent the entire time in the bathroom. But I did and he had us go to the stage manager because he wanted me to see the show. I could come back at anytime gratis on him. And we did! Because we didn't have to buy tickets, mom and I treated ourselves to Sardi's after. And that is where I met Jack Weston who was so impressed with my knowledge of show business, I left him sitting on his bar stool doing his best Macaulay Culkin "Home Alone" impression (hands on his face!). Well, Jackie is once again entertaining my folks! But we lost another gem!! 😢
Melfins 1 month ago
One of the funniest comedians ever.
Deleted 1 month ago
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MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I never found him funny either but I really don’t remember his humour. On the other hand, I never found Richard Pryor funny either.
dangler1907 1 month ago
Pryor did caricatures. Mason did insights. Huge difference.
dangler1907 1 month ago
Then you didn't know "this guy". Try Youtube if you want to know "this guy".
Tresix 1 month ago
“Caddyshack” wasn’t remade, it had a sequel. I guess you didn’t see the Roman numeral in the title.
DanielZabo 1 month ago
Yes I will sit in the i can’t stand “this guy” line too. Boring Jewish comedy. So repetitive and whoas me humor?
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Good grief! I thought he had died decades ago.
Moody MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I was thinking the same thing when I saw this story.
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
Wasn't he the voice of the aardvark in the "Ant and the Aardvark" cartoon that played with the "Pink Panther" cartoons?
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justjeff LH 1 month ago
...to me the Aardvark sounded more like Joey Bishop.

I personally found Jackie Mason unfunny and quite obnoxious... (although I'm well aware that I'm probably in the minority here with that opinion)... May he rest in peace - but he was *no* favorite of mine...
justjeff justjeff 1 month ago
Would you believe that MeTV would not allow me to include Bishop's catch-phrase? The phrase starts with a son and ends with a gun... with the words "of a" in the middle... but the automated message said that word was not "family friendly"... Imagine that!
LH justjeff 1 month ago
And I agree with you. John Byner did a good job imitating JM… but I didn’t like JM much either…not that I saw much of him, but he reminded me of Rodney Dangerfield, of the same ilk
LoveMETV22 justjeff 1 month ago
OMG , I have never heard or even seen that. They have a filter? There's been numerous times people have posted questionable comments far more "not family friendly". Wonder why it didn't catch those. It would save MeTV staff from reviewing and removing flagged comments. TY for the share.
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
RIP Jackie Mason- There's a number of interesting articles outside of this short story that give a little more history. But Thank You MeTV for the article.
JHP 1 month ago
another loss - too many in the last 10 years :(

yet the ones still alive are causing havoc
dewyduster 1 month ago
Ed Sullivan tried to cancel Jackie 1960s style :)

P.S. MeTV: tell your writers to use spellcheck. No such word as "comedican" and it's "synagogue", not "synaogoge".
Zip dewyduster 1 month ago
Though he did have class enough to publicly apologize to him.
dewyduster 1 month ago
Spellcheck and "Autocorrect" are the bane of my existence.
justjeff dewyduster 1 month ago
MeTV spell-checking their articles is about as rare as an honest politician!
15inchBlackandWhite 1 month ago
Earlier in his life he was actually a Rabbi leading a congregation in Pennsylvania. In later years he had worked as a fill-in host on political talk radio shows.
Michael 1 month ago
He's in Caddyshack II, taking over from Rodney Dangerfield in the first film. Not the same character, but both serve the same purpose.
dewyduster Michael 1 month ago
Jackie and Randy Quaid were the only good things about that movie.
LoveMETV22 Michael 1 month ago
I'd rather watch Happy Gilmore if watching a sport comedy film, just opinion.
justjeff LoveMETV22 1 month ago
An Adam Sandler movie? I'd rather watch a test pattern! (However, I have seen the clip where Bob Barker belts Sandler's character... THAT I liked...)
LoveMETV22 justjeff 1 month ago
Lol! Do they still broadcast test patterns? Aside from the EBS ones. The only place I've seen one is in the background of Toon In With Me when Bill is conversing with Toony. Yeah the scene where Bob Barker belts Happy is funny.
DanielZabo justjeff 1 month ago
Yes that fight seen was legendary. And Bobs catch phrase was over the top hilarious. Something like the price is wrong..... (rhymes with witch) don’t want those MeTV staffers red flagging my account. Even though they don’t spellcheck their work most of the time but they will send me a notice or two via email for being a bad boy.
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