Irving Benson, American actor and comedian, Died at 102


Irving Benson was born on January 31, 1914, and died on May 19, 2016.

He was an American actor and comedian.

Benson was one of the last survivors of the vaudeville era.

After he enjoyed a long and successful run on the east coast American Burlesque circuit, Benson travelled west to play Las Vegas for the first time in 1957, with the Minsky Follies show.

He gained his national fame during the 1960s, when fellow vaudevillian Milton Berle hired him to play a faux heckler named Sidney Spritzer.

That particular character would turn up in the balcony overlooking the stage of Berle’s variety show (where the studio audience could see him) and banter with Berle about the host’s alleged lack of talent and originality.

He then became Johnny Carson’s favorite comic and appeared frequently on the Johnny Carson-hosted Tonight Show.

Benson was honored for Best Documentary at the 2011 Backlot Film Festival for “The Last First Comic” uncovering the roots of American comedy also going inside the colorful world of the Burlesque show.

Irving Benson passed away at 102 yrs old.