Pat Cooper, an acerbic stand-up comedian who later had a career acting in films and TV series including Analyze This, its sequel, Seinfeld and the original Charlie’s Angels, died Tuesday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 93.
His wife, Emily Connor, announced the news.
Born Pasquale Caputo on July 31, 1929, in Brooklyn, he tried to join multiple branches of the U.S. Armed Forces but was rejected and turned to comedy. He adopted his stage name during an early-’60s stint doing stand-up, which further angered the Italian family he often roasted in his act.
Cooper became estranged from his parents while focusing on his insult-heavy comedy career. His angry onstage persona led to multiple firings from stints opening for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka. By the mid-’60s, he was being booked on many of the era’s most popular variety and shows including those hosted by Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore. Cooper made about a half-dozen appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the early 1970s and was a regular on Jerry Lewis’ telethons.
He later would guest on such shows as Late Night — with both David Letterman and Conan O’Brien — Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Howard Stern. He became a favorite of the Howard Stern and appeared more often on his radio show.
Cooper also released several albums during the 1960s recorded-comedy boom. His first, Our Hero … Pat Cooper in 1966, featured one side of stand-up — mainly making fun of his family’s Italian stereotypes — and one of parody songs. The LP only reached No. 88 on the Billboard 200 but would ride the chart for more than nine months. Its late-’66 follow-up, Spaghetti Sauce & Other Delights, peaked at around the same position.
His memoir, How Dare You Say How Dare Me! written with Rich Herschlag and Steve Garrin, was published in 2011.
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