Robert Klein

Robert Klein
Full name
Robert Klein
Country
USA

Robert Klein (born February 8, 1942) is an American stand-up comedian, singer and actor. 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. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, Klein had planned to study medicine; however, he changed his mind during his studies in university. After graduating from Alfred University, he studied at Yale Drama School when he got wind of 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. Klein had said another young man, Billy Dee Williams, was invited to join the troupe, but turned it down. His 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. 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. In 1979, Klein was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in They're Playing Our Song. In 1985, he starred in the "Wordplay" episode of The New Twilight Zone. In 1986, Klein had his own late night talk show, Robert Klein Time, which ran on the USA Network until 1988. Klein has made several albums, the most successful being his first two. In Child of the Fifties (1972), Klein talks about his life as a child in the 1950s. 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. His follow-up album, New Teeth (1975), featured the comedian's on-stage work on tracks such as "Mother Isn't Always Right" and his juxtaposition 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". He responded to the end of the sexual revolution with his 1990 album, Let's Not Make Love, which contained many of the same routines as his 1984 HBO special, Child of the '50s, Man of the '80s, and his 1986 special, Robert Klein on Broadway.