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Jack Burns, co-creator of The Muppet Show and comedy partner to George Carlin, passes away at age 86

Jack Burns, co-creator of The Muppet Show and comedy partner to George Carlin, passes away at age 86

  • Burns passed from respiratory failure in Toluca Lake, California on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter
  • Burns had been living in senior care for the past two years and recently celebrated 31 years of sobriety
  • The comedian’s passing was honored by Kelly Carlin, the daughter of comedy legend George Carlin, who called him, ‘one of the sharpest motherf*****s I knew’
  • He co-created The Muppet Show with Jim Henson and also wrote The Muppet Movie as well

The comedy world is in mourning on Tuesday, with the passing of comedic actor, writer and producer Jack Burns.

The comedian passed at the age of 86 on Monday from respiratory failure in Toluca Lake, California, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Burns’ manager, Peter Santana, confirmed that he had been living in senior care for the past two years, and had celebrated his 31st year of sobriety in December. 

RIP: The comedy world is in mourning on Tuesday, with the passing of comedic actor, writer and producer Jack Burns

Burns was born November 15, 1933 in Boston, and he started his long career in comedy in 1959 when he teamed up with iconic comedian George Carlin.

They both teamed up while working for KXOL radio station in Fort Worth, Texas, before heading to California to work together for a few more years.

The 1963 album Burns & Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight features some of their material during their partnership together. 

Early life: Burns was born November 15, 1933 in Boston, and he started his long career in comedy in 1959 when he teamed up with iconic comedian George Carlin

Early life: Burns was born November 15, 1933 in Boston, and he started his long career in comedy in 1959 when he teamed up with iconic comedian George Carlin

Burns and Carlin: They both teamed up while working for KXOL radio station in Fort Worth, Texas, before heading to California to work together for a few more years

Burns and Carlin: They both teamed up while working for KXOL radio station in Fort Worth, Texas, before heading to California to work together for a few more years

After Burns and Carlin went their separate ways, Burns teamed up with Avery Schreiber at Chicago’s Second City.

They would perform together at Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall, The Merv Griffin Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, plus other variety shows.  

He gained even more notoriety when he starred in The Andy Griffith Show as new character Deputy Wayne Ferguson, replacing the departing Don Knotts’ Barney Fife. 

Notoriety: He gained even more notoriety when he starred in The Andy Griffith Show as new character Deputy Wayne Ferguson, replacing the departing Don Knotts' Barney Fife

Notoriety: He gained even more notoriety when he starred in The Andy Griffith Show as new character Deputy Wayne Ferguson, replacing the departing Don Knotts’ Barney Fife

He would continue acting and performing while also writing as well, working on shows like Hee-Haw, the ABC Comedy Hour and a number of comedy specials for Flip Wilson, Paul Lunde and others.

Burns also wrote a TV movie adaptation of Peter Pan in 1976, starring Mia Farrow as Peter Pan and Danny Kaye as Captain Hook.

Perhaps his best known work as a writer was co-creating The Muppet Show in 1976 with The Muppets creator Jim Henson, and co-writing The Muppet Movie in 1979 with Jerry Juhl.

Comedy: He would continue acting and performing while also writing as well, working on shows like Hee-Haw, the ABC Comedy Hour and a number of comedy specials for Flip Wilson, Paul Lunde and others

Comedy: He would continue acting and performing while also writing as well, working on shows like Hee-Haw, the ABC Comedy Hour and a number of comedy specials for Flip Wilson, Paul Lunde and others

‘Burns was honored in passing by Kelly Carlin, the daughter of his late partner George Carlin, who passed in 2008 at the age of 71.

‘A foundational piece of the Carlin legacy has gone to the big comedy club in the sky. Jack was one of the sharpest motherf*****s I knew. He shaped my father’s mind in unique ways. RIP Jack Burns,’ she said.

Burns was nominated for two Primetime Emmys, for outstanding comedy-variety or music series and outstanding writing, both for The Muppet Show in 1976, and likewise was nominated for a Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation with The Muppet Movie in 1980,

Honored: 'Burns was honored in passing by Kelly Carlin, the daughter of his late partner George Carlin, who passed in 2008 at the age of 71

Honored: ‘Burns was honored in passing by Kelly Carlin, the daughter of his late partner George Carlin, who passed in 2008 at the age of 71

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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