Robert Klein facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsRobert Klein
Klein in 2010
February 8, 1942 |
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, theatre|
|Genres||Observational comedy, improvisational comedy, satire/Political satire, musical comedy|
|Subject(s)||Everyday life, American politics|
(m. 1973; div. 1989)
Robert Klein (born February 8, 1942) is an American stand-up comedian, singer, and actor. He is known for his appearances on stage and screen. He has released four standup comedy specials including, A Child of the 50s (1973), Mind Over Matter (1974), New Teeth (1975), and Let's Not ... (1990). The first two albums received Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nominations. Klein hosted Saturday Night Live in its first season in 1975 and again in 1978. Klein made his Broadway debut in the 1966 production of The Apple Tree opposite Alan Alda. He earned a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical nomination for his performance in Neil Simon's musical comedy They're Playing Our Song (1979).
He is known for his film roles in The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), Mixed Nuts (1994), One Fine Day (1996), Primary Colors (1998), Two Weeks Notice (2002), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), and Reign Over Me (2007). He is also known for his recurring television roles in Law & Order: SVU (2009-2012), The Good Wife (2013-2014), Madam Secretary (2014) and Will & Grace (2018-2019). He has received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his specials, Child in his 50's (2001), and Unfair and Unbalanced (2010). He was profiled in the Starz documentary Robert Klein Still Can't Stop His Leg (2016).
Klein was born in the Bronx, the son of Frieda (née Moskowitz) and Benjamin Klein, and was raised in a "prototypical 1950s Bronx Jewish" environment, the grandson of Hungarian-Jewish immigrants who arrived in the USA early in the 20th century. He has an older sister, Rhoda.
After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, Klein had planned to study medicine; however, he changed his mind during his studies at Alfred University, deciding to go into acting instead.
While studying at the Yale Drama School, Klein learned about an opportunity to audition for The Second City. In a piece he wrote for the improvisational troupe's book, Klein recalled sitting in a room full of other hopefuls, including Fred Willard. Klein's audition consisted of an improvisation set with Willard about two guys in a nightclub, which was successful enough to get Klein and Willard hired by Second City. In the spring of 1965, Klein was chosen as a member of Second City. When he returned to New York City a year later, he was cast by Mike Nichols in the Broadway musical The Apple Tree.
Klein's first major appearance was as host of the 1970 summer replacement television series Comedy Tonight, on which were introduced many of the routines that in the next few years would be released on record albums. His extensive routines about the Watergate scandal made him highly popular in the 1970s. In 1974, he appeared in an episode of Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers.
Klein starred in HBO's first stand-up comedy special in 1975 during the cable channel's early broadcast days and has continued to appear in several more one-man shows which have typically concluded with his "I can't stop my leg" routine. On 15 November 1975, during Season 1, and again in Season 3, on 28 January 1978, Klein hosted Saturday Night Live. His skits included Tough Director in 1975, Nick The Lounge Singer Sings Star Wars Theme in 1978 and The Olympia Restaurant: Cheeseburger, Chips and Pepsi in 1978.
In 1985, he starred in the "Wordplay" segment of The Twilight Zone, which cast him against type in a dramatic role. In 1986, Klein had his own late-night talk show, Robert Klein Time, which ran on the USA Network until 1988. The following year, Klein hosted Monty Python Live at Aspen, a reunion and tribute show for the five surviving members of the British comedy troupe, in a special that appeared on HBO in 1998.
..... The first two albums received Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nominations. ..... He also goes into other things that he has observed in his life, such as substitute teaching, 1970s FM radio disc jockeys, late-night delis, and annoying commercials (e.g., Geritol). He also performed two songs that he wrote himself: "Fabulous '50s"; and "Middle Class, Educated Blues".
His next album, Mind Over Matter (1974), included extensive discussion of the Watergate scandal and another song—the title track—about a kid who turned to humor to become popular.
Klein's follow-up album, New Teeth (1975, Epic/CBS Records), featured the comedian's on-stage work on tracks such as "Mother Isn't Always Right" and his transposition of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television", titled "Six Clean Words You Can Say Anywhere," with studio-recorded material such as "Continental Steel" and "On the Bayou".
Film and television
Klein has appeared in such films as The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), Hooper (1978), The Last Unicorn (1982), Radioland Murders (1994), One Fine Day (1996), Primary Colors (1998), The Safety of Objects (2001), Two Weeks Notice (2002), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), and Ira and Abby (2006). Klein had a recurring role in the TV drama series Sisters. In the 1970s, he hosted Saturday Night Live twice. He also appeared as a guest star in the animated series Duckman, in the NBC sitcom Family Ties, and on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens.
In March 2007, Klein once again collaborated with Adam Sandler (after appearing in Mixed Nuts) in Reign Over Me, and in September 2007 released a new DVD compilation of his eight live HBO specials, entitled Robert Klein: The HBO Specials 1975–2005. Klein starred in The Mysteries of Laura, a crime dramedy on NBC starring Debra Messing. In this series he played the father of the show's main character, Laura. He appeared alongside Messing again in the relaunched version of her sitcom Will & Grace, playing the father of her character, Grace Adler. In 2014, Klein played the Canadian Ambassador on Madam Secretary. Klein played the Mayor of New York City in Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015).
On 29 January 2018, producers announced that Klein would be playing Grace Adler's father Martin in the NBC revival of Will and Grace replacing Alan Arkin. Klein has authored an autobiography, The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue: A Child of the Fifties Looks Back (2006).
Klein is divorced from opera singer Brenda Boozer. They have a son, Alexander Stuart Klein, who goes by Allie Klein and performs standup comedy.
Jerry Seinfeld has stated Klein's influences on him stating "He was The Beatles of Comedy to me". Various comedians including Bill Maher, Billy Crystal, Richard Lewis, and Jay Leno, all have also cited Klein as a comedic influence.
|1970||The Landlord||Peter||Credited as Bob Klein|
|1970||The Owl and the Pussycat||Barney|
|1971||The Pursuit of Happiness||Melvin Lasher|
|1972||Rivals||Peter / Husband|
|1979||The Bell Jar||Lenny|
|1988||Dangerous Curves||Bam Bam|
|1990||Tales from the Darkside: The Movie||Wyatt||Segment: "Lover's Vow"|
|1994||Radioland Murders||Father Writer|
|1994||Mixed Nuts||Mr. Lobel|
|1996||One Fine Day||Dr. Martin|
|1998||Next Stop Wonderland||Arty Lesser|
|1998||Primary Colors||Norman Asher|
|1999||Goosed||Dad / Mel|
|2000||Labor Pains||David Raymond|
|2001||The Safety of Objects||Howard Gold|
|2002||I'm with Lucy||Dr. Mort Zalkind|
|2002||People I Know||Dr. Sandy Napier|
|2002||Two Weeks Notice||Larry Kelson|
|2003||How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days||Phillip Warren|
|2006||Ira & Abby||Seymour Black|
|2007||Reign Over Me||Jonathan Timpleman|
|2010||The Back-up Plan||Dr. Scott Harris|
|2011||National Lampoon's Dirty Movie||The CEO|
|2012||Another Dirty Movie||The CEO|
|2021||Before I Go||Jasper|
|1973||Love, American Style||Michael||Epiosde: "Love and the End of the Line"|
|1974||Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers||Mike Moran||Episode: "Moran's the Man"|
|1975-1978||Saturday Night Live||Host / Himself||2 episodes|
|1977||Visions||Rebbe||Episode: "A Secret Space"|
|1985||George Burns Comedy Week||Jay Miller||Episode: "Death Benefits"|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Bill Lowery||Episode: "Wordplay"|
|1986||Comedy Factory||Robert Morgan||Episode: "Father's Day"|
|1988||Family Ties||Roger Erdman||Episode: "The Boys Next Door"|
|1989||Murder, She Wrote||Barney Drake||Episode: "Trevor Hudson's Legacy"|
|1989||Trying Times||Buddy Amber||Episode: "A Good Life"|
|1990||Midnight Caller||Ryder||Episode: "Ryder on the Storm"|
|1993||Law & Order||Rick Mason||Episode: "Sweeps"|
|1993||Frasier||Gary||Voice; Episode: "The Crucible"|
|1996||Grace Under Fire||Fred Mullens / Ron||2 episodes|
|1996||Sisters||Albert Barker||25 episodes|
|1997||Duckman||Uncle Mo Dorkin||2 episodes|
|1998||Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Robert||Episode: "Old Man"|
|1999||Mad About You||Stan Freitus||Episode: "Farmer Buchman"|
|1999||Cosby||Jack||Episode: "A Very Nice Dance"|
|1999||The King of Queens||Bruce Degner||Episode: "Sparing Carrie"|
|2001||Oz||Robert Klein||Episode: "Conversions"|
|2001||Bob Patterson||Landau||6 episodes|
|2004||The Stones||Stan Stone||7 episodes|
|2008||Life on Mars||Elliott Casso||Episode: "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows"|
|2008-2010||Heartland||Dwayne Trent||2 episodes|
|2009-2012||Law and Order: SVU||Dwight Stannich||4 epsides|
|2013||Royal Pains||Bert||Episode: "Hammertime"|
|2013-2014||The Good Wife||Lyle Pollard||2 episodes|
|2014||Madam Secretary||Amb. Lester Clark||Episode: "Blame Canada"|
|2014||Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee||Himself||Episode: "Opera ..."|
|2014||Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley||Self||Documentary|
|2014-2016||The Mysteries of Laura||Leo Diamond||5 episodes|
|2014||Sharknado 2: The Second One||The Mayor||Television movie|
|2015||Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!||Mayor of New York||Television movie|
|2015||The Seventies||Self||Episode: "Television Gets Real"|
|2016||Robert Klein Still Can't Stop His Leg"||Self||Starz Documentary|
|2018-2019||Will & Grace||Martin Adler||4 episodes|
|2022||George Carlin's American Dream||Self||HBO Documentary|
|1966||The Apple Tree||Ensemble / Guard||Shubert Theatre, Broadway|
|1968||Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1968||Performer||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|1979||They're Playing Our Song||Vernon Gersh||Imperial Theatre, Broadway|
|1985||The Robert Klein Show||Self||Circle in the Square Theatre, Broadway|
|1986||Robert Klein on Broadway||Nederlander Theatre, Broadway|
|1988||An Evening with Robert Klein||Circle in the Square Theatre, Broadway|
|1993||The Sisters Rosensweig||Mervyn Kant||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway|
|1975||On Location: An Evening with Robert Klein||HBO||Broadcast|
|1977||On Location: Robert Klein Revisited||HBO||Broadcast|
|1981||The Robert Klein Show||NBC||Broadcast|
|1982||On Location: Robert Klein at Yale||HBO||Broadcast|
|1984||Child of the 50s, Man of the 80s||HBO||Broadcast/VHS|
|1986||Robert Klein on Broadway||HBO||Broadcast/VHS|
|1995||It All Started Here||HBO||Broadcast|
|2000||Child in His 50s||HBO||Broadcast/DVD|
|2005||The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue||HBO||Broadcast/Streaming/DVD|
|2007||The HBO Specials 1975-2005||Standing Room Only Entertainment||4xDVD box set|
|2010||Unfair and Unbalanced||HBO||Broadcast/Streaming/DVD|
|2016||Robert Klein Still Can't Stop His Leg (documentary)||Starz||Broadcast/Streaming|
|1972||The Unauthorized Autobiography Of Howard Who?||Caedmon Records||LP|
|1973||Child of the 50s||Brut Records||LP/8-track/cassette|
|1974||Mind Over Matter||Brut Records||LP/8-track/cassette|
|1975||New Teeth||Epic Records||LP/cassette|
|1979||Original Cast Recording - They're Playing Our Song||Casablanca Records||LP/cassette|
|1990||Let's Not ...||Rhino Records||Cassette/CD|
Awards and nominations
|1975||Grammy Award||Best Comedy Album||Child of the 50s||Nominated|
|1976||Mind Over Matter||Nominated|
|1979||Tony Award||Best Actor in a Musical||They're Playing Our Song||Nominated|
|1998||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play||The Sisters Rosensweig||Nominated|
|1998||Outer Critics Circle||Outstanding Actor in a Play||Won|
|2011||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics||Child in his 50s||Nominated|
|2011||Unfair and Unbalanced||Nominated|
In Spanish: Robert Klein (comediante) para niños
Robert Klein Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.