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Jackie Mason Dead at 93 — Inside the Comedian's Multi-Decade Legacy

·3-min read
Comedian Jackie Mason recording his album "I Want To Leave You With The Words Of A Great Comedian" on February 20, 1963 in New York.
Comedian Jackie Mason recording his album "I Want To Leave You With The Words Of A Great Comedian" on February 20, 1963 in New York.

PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Jackie Mason has died.

The comedian's friend Raoul Felder confirmed Mason died Saturday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 93.

"He died peacefully with several close friends and family at his side," he told CNN.

Mason had been in the hospital for more than three weeks after being admitted for lung inflammation, Felder told TMZ. The veteran jokester had been battling health issues for the last few years.

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Al Jean, a writer for The Simpsons for 32 years, paid tribute to Mason with a tweet featuring an image of the comedian's rabbi character from his 1991 cameo on the hit series.

"I feel like Krusty," Jean wrote. "We will very much miss Jackie Mason."

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Gilbert Gottfried also took to Twitter to honor his late friend: "One of the best. RIP Jackie Mason."

Henry Winkler chimed in as well, calling his one-man act on Broadway, "Truly one of the funniest shows I have ever seen."

"Thank you Jackie and now you get to make heaven laugh," he wrote.

Actor Jackie Mason and Chevy Chase on set of the movie " Caddyshack II " circa 1988.
Actor Jackie Mason and Chevy Chase on set of the movie " Caddyshack II " circa 1988.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Michelle Collins paid homage to the man that had an incredible influence on her life with a thoughtful tweet.

"If you know me then you know my mother once dated Jackie Mason, my father was a part-time Jackie Mason impersonator, and I did my own impression for the man himself at a Miami deli when I was 6. One of the funniest comedians of all time, the bastion of Jewish comedy. #RIP👑," Collins said.

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Inside Edition correspondent Rita Cosby also shared a tribute to the late comedian, whom she spent time with shortly before his death.

"Prayers and forever love for my dear friend #JackieMason. When we were together just a few weeks ago, he was as hilarious, irreverent and brilliant as ever! Truly one of a kind... who will be deeply missed. Love You So Jackie. #RIPJackieMason," Cosby wrote above an image of the two posing together.

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Mason's big break came in 1960 when he made his first national television appearance on The Steve Allen Show. He regularly appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show throughout the '60s and released his first record — entitled I'm the Greatest Comedian in the World, Only Nobody Knows It Yet — in 1962.

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The comedian landed himself in hot water in 1964 after giving the middle finger during an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan had signaled Mason to wrap up by holding up a finger, and Mason eventually pointed back at him with what Sullivan believed to be a middle finger.

Mason was banned from the show as a result of the incident. However, he returned to the show in 1968, where he apologized for the incident during his monologue.

American comedian and actor Jackie Mason as he poses at the Carnegie Deli, New York, New York, 1987.
American comedian and actor Jackie Mason as he poses at the Carnegie Deli, New York, New York, 1987.

Robert R McElroy/Getty

One of Mason's biggest feats in life was his success on Broadway. His one-man shows were a hit with both fans and critics and earned him several accolades.

Mason's 1987 act The World According to Me! won four awards: an Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and an Ace Award. It was nominated for a Grammy as well.

In 1992, Mason won a Primetime Emmy Award for his voice work as Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in "Like Father, Like Clown" from season 3 of The Simpsons. He voiced the character for seven additional episodes before the character was killed off. Mason continued his circuit of one-man shows through 2012 when he performed his final program entitled Jackie Mason: Fearless.

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