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Remembering Legendary Comedian Jackie Mason


JACKIE MASON: There's a guy - keeps staring at me. I don't care if you laugh or not. I got enough money to last me the rest of my life.


MASON: Unless I want to buy something.


Jackie Mason followed a path from rabbi to Borscht Belt comedian. He died yesterday at the age of 93. Taking a risk, he left his family's rabbinical tradition, writing jokes, performing in the Catskills and eventually Broadway.

Jackie Mason's Jewish identity was a big part of his indignant comedic routine. His sharp observations were usually at his own expense. And he was also known as the voice of Krusty the Clown's father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, on "The Simpsons."


MASON: (As Rabbi Hyman Krustofski) Oh, clown is not a respected member of the community.

DAN CASTELLANETA: (As Krusty the Clown) But I want to make people laugh.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Mason's career was not without controversy. He had to apologize for using a racial Yiddish slur against a Black politician and was kicked off "The Ed Sullivan Show" after insulting the host. Jackie Mason died yesterday in a hospital in Manhattan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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