R.I.P. Larry Storch, comedian and F-Troop's Corporal Agarn
He also voiced animated characters Cool Cat and Koko the Clown.
Like many comedians of his generation, Larry Storch mastered his craft telling jokes at resorts in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Born in the Bronx in 1923, Storch entered comedy early in life. He was already performing regularly by the time he joined the Navy during WWII.
While serving overseas, Storch met a young radio operator in the Marshall Islands, Bernie Schwartz, who also had showbusiness dreams. Despite Storch’s warnings that Hollywood was a tough racket, Schwartz pursued his goal of becoming a movie star after the war — adopting the stage name Tony Curtis. The rest is Hollywood history, although Curtis never forgot his hilarious friend from the Navy. Storch appeared in no less than eight of Curtis’ films.
After making a name for himself at resorts and comedy clubs, Larry Storch appeared on Jackie Gleason’s Cavalcade of Stars in the early Fifties before hosting his own short-lived variety show, The Larry Storch Show, in 1953. Though his show only lasted one summer, Storch continued to perform on programs like The Ed Sullivan Show and earned his first major guest starring roles in The Phil Silvers Show and Car 54, Where Are You?
Storch also voiced the TV version of Koko the Clown in the early 1960s, an animated character who costarred with Betty Boop three decades before. He also appeared in many movies and played a bank robber who visits Gilligan’s Island before winning his most famous role, Cpl. Randolph Adarn in F-Troop. He appeared in all 65 episodes of the Western spoof and is best remembered for his banter with Forrest Tucker’s Sgt. O’Rourke.
After F-Troop, Storch appeared in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Get Smart and voiced Cool Cat in the 1968 cartoon short “Big Game Haunt.” His career lasted four more decades into the 2000s, acting in everything from All in the Family to Trapper John, M.D. to Married… with Children.
One of his only other regular live-action TV roles was in the 1975 kids’ series The Ghost Busters, which was totally unrelated to the eventual Eighties flick. It’s one of many Seventies shows that share a name with other, more famous franchises.
Larry Storch played countless hilarious characters over his six-decade career. He was 99.