Comic and Actor Martin Mull Dies at 80 After ‘Long Illness’: Family


Comedian and actor Martin Mull, known for his roles in the television shows Fernwood 2 Night, Roseanne, and Veep, died Thursday, his daughter announced in a social media post. He was 80.

“I am heartbroken to share that my father passed away at home on June 27th, after a valiant fight against a long illness,” Maggie Mull wrote on Instagram Friday. “He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials. He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny.”

“My dad will be deeply missed by his wife and daughter, by his friends and coworkers, by fellow artists and comedians and musicians, and—the sign of a truly exceptional person—by many, many dogs. I loved him tremendously.”

A painter who also established his music chops in the early 1970s by opening for Randy Newman, Frank Zappa and Bruce Springsteen, Mull’s television career began a few years later with a supporting role in the satirical soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. In the spin-off series, Fernwood 2 Night, Mull played talk show host Barth Gimble, with Fred Willard as his sidekick. In 1978, Mull continued to play Gimble in America 2 Night.

Additional television roles include restaurant manager Leon Carp in seven seasons of Roseanne in the 1990s, and political aide Bob Bradley in Veep, for which Mull earned an Emmy nomination in 2016. Mull also played bumbling private detective Gene Parmesan in Arrested Development, and provided voiceovers in The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad.

A number of Mull’s peers and former colleagues reflected on his passing late Friday. Harry Shearer of Fernwood Tonight paid tribute on X, writing:

“Took me a moment to grasp that Martin Mull has passed. During the late 70s, we worked together on Fernwood Tonight & its successor series. We wrote together, often at the beach (!), and sometimes I’d come out and riff with him. Mucho laffs! Always a treat to be with. RIP MM.”

Director Paul Feig also weighed in.

“Oh man, this is so sad. Martin was the greatest. So funny, so talented, such a nice guy. Was lucky enough to act with him on The Jackie Thomas Show and treasured every moment being with a legend,” Feig wrote on X. “Fernwood Tonight was so influential in my life. RIP Martin.”

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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