Pat Cooper, the famously fast-talking and angry stand-up comedian who often appeared on Ed Sullivan and Howard Stern’s shows, died Tuesday in Las Vegas. He was 93.
Cooper appeared on “Seinfeld” in the Friars Club episode, playing himself. He also appeared with Robert DeNiro in the 1999 film “Analyze This” as Salvatore Masiello and reprised his role in “Analyze That.”
He was a frequent guest host on the Mike Douglas Show in the 1970s, and appeared many times on the Howard Stern show throughout the 1990s and 2000s, where he was known for his cranky persona.
Born Pasquale Caputo to an Italian family in Brooklyn, he started out playing local New York clubs. In 1963, he landed a spot on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” and then began performing at the Copacabana, where he opened for acts including the Four Seasons and Jimmy Roselli.
Cooper went on to perform at clubs across the country, working with artists including Sergio Franchi, Bobby Darrin, Frank Sinatra, George Burns, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima, Al Martino, Steve and Eydie, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Frankie Avalon and Connie Francis.
He released a comedy album, “Our Hero,” in 1965, one of the first major albums to feature Italian American humor. “It does for the Italian-American community what Jackie Mason did for the Jewish-American community,” Billboard wrote. It was followed by the album “Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights.”
Cooper was a fixture on the dais of Friars Club Roasts, where he was often given the position of the “closer,” ending the show with no notes or script.
His 2010 autobiography, “How Dare You Say How Dare Me!” chronicled his career honestly and unapologetically. Cooper retired in 2013 after his final performance at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.
He is survived by his wife, Emily Conner; son Michael Caputo; daughters Louise Caputo and Patti Jo Weidenfeld; and several grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or the Neon Museum Las Vegas.
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