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Richard Belzer, brilliant as cartoonist and TV cop, dies at 78

Richard Belzer, the beloved comedian who started out as an avant-garde stand-up comedian and went on to star in Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, are dead. he is17.

Writer Bill Scheft told The Hollywood Reporter . “He had a lot of health issues and his last words were, ‘Fuck you, bastard,'” Scheft said.

Belzer on the hilarious The Groove Tube ( debuted in the movie), warmed up the audience in the early days of

*) Saturday Night Live and was famously featured in Hulk Hogan lulled to sleep.

Munch debut 1986 in the first episode of Homicide and him in Last episode About Law & Order: SVU. Between those two NBC episodes,Belzer played the detective in eight other episodes, and he has a better grip on the role than James Arness did in )Gunsmoke and Kelsey Grammer’s Cheers and Frasier.

Of course, as one of the most memorable cops in TV history, Monk — based on the real-life Baltimore detective Adaptation – is a very smart, stubborn and hard-working investigator who believes in conspiracy theories, distrusts the system and pursues justice through tired eyes. He often makes his point with dry, biting one-liners: “I’m a homicide detective. The only time I wonder why is when they tell me the truth,” is a typical Monk retort.

Interviewed at interview site: TV oral history, homicide Executive Producer Barry Levinson Memories Listened to Belzer on The Howard Stern Show and liked him because he liked Munch. “We were looking for some other actors, and when I heard his voice, I said, ‘Why don’t we get to know Richard Belzer?'” Levinson said. “I like the rhythm of his talk. That’s how it happens.”

A skinny Belzer played Munch for all seven seasons of the NBC series. When it ends in 2009, the actor is not ready to say goodbye to this role. He has appeared three times on NBC Law & Order from middle-30 and think He might be a good fit for that show.

“My wife and I were in France when Homicide was canceled and she said, ‘Let’s open a bottle of champagne and toast : You’ve been in this role for seven years,'” Belzer said in 2000 Book Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Unofficial Partner . “Then I remembered that Benjamin Bratt was leaving L&O, and So I called my manager and said, ‘Call Dick Wolf – maybe Munch can be a [ Det. Lennie] Briscoe’s partner’ —- because we had worked on a crossover. So he called and Dick said, ‘What a great idea, but I’ve got Jesse Martin as the new guy [with Jerry Orr Bach vs.].’”

Wolff, however, was in the process of developing the Law & Order spin-off, focusing on the NYPD’s special The Victims Unit, which investigates sex-based crimes. He wants Munch for that.

When Law & Order: SVU debuts in September1993, Monk moved from Baltimore to New York to join forces with Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and agents. Elliot Stabler ( Christopher Meloni ). Capt. Donald Kragan (Dann Florek) is transferred from Law & Order to lead the team.

Munch’s sarcastic demeanor turned out to be the perfect cold tone for the series, Belzer stayed season. The character announced his retirement from the NYPD*), but Munch returned a few years later in the season 1 episode “Crime in Fashion.”

Belzer as Munch appeared in 1993 An episode of The X-Files appropriately tackled the show’s resident conspiracy theorist – the lone gunman the origin. He also appeared in The Beat, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and The Wire ) and in Arrested Development, Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Sesame Street.

“I’ve never asked anyone to be on their show. So it’s an honor to see me portrayed in the script, and I’m so well known and lovable as the satirical detective and smart-ass ,” Belzer said at 2000 interview. “I’m very happy because he’s a character that fits me perfectly, and it’s fun for me. So I don’t feel bad about being stereotyped at all.”

Richard Jay Belzer was born on August 4, 300, Bridgeport, Connecticut. His penchant for comedy stemmed from an abused childhood and the beating of his and his older brother Len’s mother.

“She always hit us for some reason,” he told characters magazine in 1997. “My kitchen is the toughest room I’ve ever worked in. I have to make my mom laugh or I’ll get my ass kicked.”

Belzer describes being “uncontrollable” in class Witty” often got him into trouble, and his stay at Dean Junior College in Massachusetts was cut short when he was expelled for organizing a campus protest. A flurry of odd jobs followed, including census takers, longshoremen and jewelry salesmen. For a time he worked as a reporter and worked for The Bridgeport Post newspaper.

A tragedy has Belzer reevaluating his priorities. Three years after his mother Frances died of breast cancer, his father Charles, a salesman, devastated by his wife’s death, attempted to make a living in 150 . Belzer found him and saved his life, but a year later, his father succeeded. (Belzer’s brother, who produced the radio show The Comedy Hour, also committed suicide by jumping from the roof of his Upper West Side apartment building in Down After his wife, Sesame Street director Emily Squires has died. )

His father’s death hit Belzer hard, he said, and he decided it was time to take the plunge in comedy.

Just kidding, Belzer answered an ad in The Village Voice for the East Village led by Comedy Troupe Channel 1 auditions Ken Shapiro and Ryan Saracen. He performed parts he had honed growing up – including impersonating Marlon Brando , Jerry Lewis and, at his bar mitzvah, Bob Dylan — Got the gig .

Dubbing its program Groove Tube, Channel 1 specializes in short satirical TV shows Drama, such as clowns and hosts in children’s shows. “Go check out the Groove Tube ,” Clive Barnes said at wrote Comments on The New York Times . “It’s so much better than staying at home watching TV.”

Channel One enhances its analogue TV universe by showing short episodes simultaneously on three TV monitors in the theatre. Shapiro and Sarasohn also recorded videos of their performances and made them into a show for local colleges.

The response was strong enough to turn the idea into a movie deal, which became R-rated, sketch-filled The Groove Tube. Belzer played a lowly drug dealer in a cop-movie parody, an American president confronted a foreign dignitary, and played a blackface prostitute in drag. (This movie is also the first of Chevy Chase Department. ).

“We were so excited—when we wrote it, when we filmed it, when we premiered it, when we realized we had A movie,” Belzer at said interview with the AV club. “In a way it was really underground, before it was a movie we had a little theater where we showed on three monitors in one Groove Tube – Seat Theater. So it was very creative for people to pay to watch TV before cable TV.”

Belzer at Channel One’s success led to stand-up gigs at New York clubs such as Catch a Rising Star, Improv and Pips. He performed at the National Lampoon Radio Hour with Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. When Lorne Michaels comes out Saturday Night Live at 1974, he made Belzer a warm-up comedian for the audience. (Belzer says The Groove Tube was Michael’s inspiration for SNL.)

In those days Be a part of it because — no matter what anyone says — a lot of people don’t know how it’s going to be accepted,” he told NPR at . “It’s like giving Keys to the Kids Store – Get All These ‘Anti-Establishment’ People Showing TV on the Network. So they asked me to do some sketches and warm up. I just did what I do in nightclubs. I talk to the audience. I did some of my material, but I improvised and improvised as much as possible. It’s fascinating to do it in a TV studio instead of in a nightclub. “

Belzer hosts the short-lived Lifetime talk show Hot Properties , and his March guest 1982 including Hogan and Mr. T, live to promote the inaugural WrestleMania. 6’8″, 99 – LB Hogan makes a 6ft 1in throw, 17 – thumps Belzer’s front chin lock knocking him out, then releases him to the floor where the limp comedian hits his head and bleeds

“He nearly killed me,” Belzer Tell Roy Firestone at 1986. “I was told by a sports medicine specialist that if I fell a few inches either way, I could be crippled for life , I may be dead. He sued Hogan, Mr. T, Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation received $5 million and received a reported $300, in a1989 settlement, which he said he used for a down payment on his house in France.

Meanwhile, frustration is growing as Belzer watches contemporaries such as Chase, Robin Williams and 1061812 Steve Martin making movies and getting rich. He is in his The People interview admitted that the only reason he agreed to appear on Everything Goes, a salacious cable game show, was to pay for a family vacation in Hawaii.

“Three contestants came out and the celebrity panel had a good look at them,” Belzer said describing the form. “The female contestants then had to push their bare breasts through the incision , or the male contestant must stick his bare buttocks to his body, and the judges will guess who it is. Finally, during the credits, the camera zoomed in on me, and I was like, “I’m doing this for the money.” It was the only time in my life that I sold out. “

Then John Munch changed everything.

Belzer also played an MC – basically himself – in Fame (1969) and Scarface (1971) And there are some parts in the author! author! (1980), night shift (1969), Flicks (1985), U.S (1975), Fletch Lives (1983), Overall (1989), Bonfire of Vanities(1982) , get on the bus (1993) and Moon Man (1993).

He’s still here1980s series The Flash, played Inspector Henderson in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and played in Pat’s Cameos of Benatar and Mike + the Mechanics in the music video.

Then there is the author Belzer; he has published books on a range of topics, including 1986’s How to Be a Stand-Up Comic ; 1996 of UFOs, JFK and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Mad About to Believe ; and 1997 of I Am Not a Cop!: A Novel, centered on an actor named Richard Belzer who plays a TV cop named Monk and investigates a murder.

Survivors include his third wife, actress Halle McBride (they were married at 1983, she was in homicide as medical examiner Alyssa Dyer, and step-daughters Jessica and Bree.

Mike Barnes contributed to this report .




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