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Richard Belzer, slapstick comedian, prolific performer, and the person who introduced us police detective John Munch, has died on the age of 78. The information initially broke by way of “Saturday Night time Dwell” authentic solid alum Laraine Newman, who knew him from his time because the warm-up comic for the collection, tweeted her disappointment at his passing. The information was confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, which was instructed by author Invoice Scheft, a longtime good friend of Belzer, that he died at his residence in Bozouls, France on Sunday, February 19. “He had plenty of well being points,” mentioned Scheft. “And his final phrases had been, ‘F*** you, motherf***er.'”
Belzer began out in comedy, doing stand-up and becoming a member of the solid of Nationwide Lampoon’s Radio Hour with co-stars Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Invoice Murray, and Harold Ramis. He was part of the Seventies comedy pantheon and roasted the every-loving heck out of Chevy Chase at his Friar’s Membership Roast again in 2002, cementing him as comedy legend.
Conquering comedy wasn’t sufficient for the performer, nonetheless, and he started working in dramatic tv, starring as John Munch on “Murder: Life on the Road.” Munch, a cynical Jewish detective with a fascination for conspiracy theories, turned such a beloved character that Belzer ended up enjoying him on 10 totally different collection, together with lengthy runs on “Murder: Life within the Road” and “Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit” and cameos on all the things from “Arrested Growth” to “The X-Recordsdata.” Like Munch, Belzer was interested by conspiracy theories and wrote a variety of books on the topic, together with “Useless Incorrect: Straight Info on the Nation’s Most Controversial Cowl-Ups” and “Hit Checklist: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination.”
Whether or not he was cracking jokes, catching the unhealthy guys on TV, or digging deep into conspiracies, Belzer at all times gave his work his all the things. His distinctive humorousness and perception can be deeply missed.
Pals and colleagues pay tribute
Pals and former colleagues of Belzer took to Twitter to share their emotions about his passing. “Regulation and Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Leight shared a narrative about how variety Belzer was to him when he first joined the franchise:
Richard Belzer was the primary actor to welcome me once I began at SVU. Open, heat, acerbic, whip good, surprisingly variety. I liked writing for Munch, and I liked being with Belz. We sensed this may be his parting scene. Godspeed Belz…
https://t.co/PhVvZMMcj0 by way of @YouTube
— Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) February 19, 2023
Comic Marc Maron eulogized him as “one of many greats,” whereas his former “SVU” co-star Julie Martin mentioned that she’s certain he is “giving ’em all plenty of laughs upstairs.” Tales proceed to pour in about his heat, kindness, and humorousness, and even roast grasp and insult comic Jeffrey Ross had one thing good to say, mentioning that he was “at all times the good cat within the room.”
Belzer appeared to actually have a larger-than-life persona, and whereas he often received himself in bother by pushing the boundaries of protest and comedy (like when he did a Nazi salute on a chat present to indicate his opposition to the community’s conservative insurance policies), he was clearly a passionate man who lived with goal. Could his reminiscence be a blessing.