Richard Jay Belzer (born August 4, 1944) is an American stand-up comedian, author, and actor. He is perhaps best known for his role as John Munch, which he has portrayed as a regular cast member on the NBC police drama series Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as in guest appearances on a number of other series. Belzer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He grew up in a Jewish family. After high school, Belzer worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. He attended Dean Junior College in Franklin, Massachusetts. After his first divorce, Belzer relocated to New York City, moved in with singer Shelley Ackerman, and began working as a stand-up comic at Pips, The Improv, and Catch a Rising Star. He participated in the Channel One comedy group that satirized television and became the basis for the cult movie The Groove Tube, in which Belzer played the costar of the ersatz TV show "The Dealers." Belzer was the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live in its premiere season and made three guest appearances on the show in 1976 and 1978. He also opened for musician Warren Zevon during his tour supporting the release of his album Excitable Boy.
Richard Jay Belzer