Five Comedians We Thought Were Dead

Categories: Comedy Clubs

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Still feeling Dyn-O-Mite - Jimmie J.J. Walker
Recently Bill Cosby died ... again. Last week, the well-known internet hoax popped up for the second time this year (in fact, it was the top trending topic on Twitter a week ago). Funny thing is, we could've sworn it was true, but like five years ago. We're not sure what Cosby does these days, in between tweeting occasionally that he is, indeed, alive. But living or dead, it seems, some people keep dying every year. Imagine our surprise when we learned that comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker, famous for the catch-phrase "Dyn-o-mite!"on TV's Good Times, is performing this week at Houston's Laff Spot. We thought he kicked it in the '90s, but apparently he tours constantly, occasionally landing guest appearances on TV. We wondered if any more undead comics were currently on the stand-up circuit. Here's four more horsemen of the comedy zombie apocalypse.

4. Robert Klein
Famous for the "I can't stop my leg" routine, Klein seemed to drop off the map in the late '80s and '90s, but apparently he's on a comeback after recently penning his autobiography and releasing a DVD compilation of his many HBO specials. The sweet clip above, from 1973, makes us happy to welcome Klein back.

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3. Paula Poundstone
After being arrested in 2001 for committing lewd acts on a girl under the age of 14, it was doubtful whether Paula Poundstone's comedy career, or health, would recover. We never quite learned the details, but apparently five years probation and 180 days in alcohol treatment worked. She was eventually declared fit to mother her adopted children. And she's apparently working regularly in stand-up, TV and radio. She'll be performing at the Alley Theatre on August 21.

2. Rich Little
Currently 71 years old, the so-called "Man of a Thousand Voices" continues to impersonate celebrities on stage in Las Vegas, where he now lives. Little is perhaps best known for his uncanny impressions of Johnny Carson and Richard Nixon, which paved the way for his huge success on HBO in the late '70s, including the ridiculous Rich Little's Christmas Carol, a one-man show in which he played all the Dickens characters as famous celebrities. In the above clip, Little plays George Burns, James Mason and John Wayne having a laugh over Scrooge's death notice. It's surprisingly dark.

1. Gallagher
We have to admit: We were hoping this one had actually shuffled off. '70s and '80s kids might remember their parents hiring the babysitter and heading out to the comedy club for one of this mind-blowingly bad comic's "Sledge-O-Matic" shows. But here's the thing: Age has soured Gallagher into a xenophobic, homophobic, right-wing maniac. What we remember as hippie-ish, tame, Carrot Top-style humor punctuated by watermelon massacres, has become what a recent article in Stranger called "the perversely fascinating but ultimately insignificant ramblings of a desperate has-been." And we agree with the Stranger's sentiments--it's unbelievable that Bill Hicks is dead and this asshole still tours.

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