By

Darryl Coote

Rip Taylor has been a comedic mainstay for some six decades. Photo by Phil McCarten/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 6 (UPI) — Rip Taylor, the campy comedian and actor known for throwing confetti, wearing flamboyant outfits and crying for laughs, died Sunday, his publicist Harlan Boll said. He was 84.

Boll said Taylor died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized last week following a seizure.

Born as Charles Elmer Taylor Jr., the TV game show guest and comedy circuit prop-comic mainstay got his start in entertaining while serving in the Korean War, Boll said.

His first of many TV spots came in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show, during which he acquired the nickname of “The Crying Comedian.”

In 2011, he told Lifestyle Magazine TV that his iconic bit started when he was called on to the stage and the eponymous host, Ed Sullivan, forgot his name.

“He forgot my name. He couldn’t read the cue card and I pulled a hair from my nose and tears came down and they pushed me on and he says, ‘The Crying Comedian’ and that’s how that happened,” Taylor said.

Throughout the 1970s, he became a household name for his schtick of dousing contestants on Hollywood SquaresThe Gong Show and The Match Game in heaps of confetti.

“The greatest joy Rip had in life was from the result of making others laugh. He didn’t have an easy childhood. Abused and bullied, he said he discovered early that they weren’t hitting you if they were laughing,” Boll said.

Tim Long, a longtime writer on The Simpsonssaid on Twitter that Taylor was kind and hilarious, but also “a brave spokesperson for survivors of abuse.”

Actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard said one of her first TV appearances was as a contestant on the game show The $1.98 Beauty Show, which Taylor presented.

“He was one of a kind, madcap, unapologetic and damn funny,” she said. “They don’t make ’em like that anymore.”

Later in his career, Taylor was known for playing himself in Wayne’s World 2 and The Simpsons, as well as in several other movies and TV shows.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Robert Fortney.

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