Robert Klein

A graduate of Alfred University, American actor Robert Klein spent the 1960s and 1970s amassing a respectable list of stage and film credits (he played George Segal's befuddled roomie in The Owl and the Pussycat [1970, Klein went on to transcribe his comedy routines in a series of popular record albums. A "reporter" of humor, the raspy-voiced, heavily eyebrowed Klein is at his best commenting offhandedly on the absurdities of everyday life. Some of his best routines involve the dissection of such pop-culture icons as The Little Rascals, My Little Margie, and Babe Ruth; other monologues recall such childhood experiences as civil defense drills and the first dance (complete with imitations of the Johnny Mathis records heard on the PA). Klein continued taking acting jobs into the 1970s and 1980s: one of his longer engagements during this period was in the Neil Simon Broadway musical They're Playing Our Song. In 1991, Robert Klein found himself the unofficial spokesperson for the Comedy Central cable service, hosting the weekly series Dead Comics Society and Stand Up Stand Up. He also appeared occasionally on the NBC drama Sisters. Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


Actor, Comedian, Singer, Writing/Publishing

Full Bio

A career in entertainment was not a “legitimate” pursuit for a middle class kid born in the Bronx, even though his father, Ben, was a good livingroom comedian, and his mother, Frieda, was a show business fan. So, Robert Klein graduated from Dewitt Clinton High School and entered Alfred University as a pre-med student.

At Alfred he joined the college’s acting company and graduated in 1962 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. But the acting bug hit hard, and Robert’s drama professor convinced Ben Klein that his son should pursue an acting career. Yale Drama School beckoned, and Klein was on his way.

He finished a year at Yale, followed by summer stock.

In March of 1965, he auditioned for the famous Chicago “Second City,” became a member of the troupe, and there he spent the single most important year of his career.

Klein returned to New York as a seasoned member of “Second City” and was seen by producer Mike Nichols and chosen for a role in his Broadway musical, “Apple Tree.” He began working on stand-up comedy material at the original “Improvisation” club.

Soon after that, Klein was cast in two more Broadway shows, “Morning, Noon and Night,” and “New Faces of 1968.” In 1970, he starred in “Comedy Tonight,” the CBS summer replacement for Glen Campbell’s show. Klein and the show were highly acclaimed, and it was becoming very clear that Robert Klein was here to stay.

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