Richard Belzer dead at 78

Richard Belzer dead at 78

Breaking news: Comedian Richard Belzer has passed away at the age of 78. The news was broken by Laraine Newman, who knew him back to Saturday Night Live, where he was the warm-up comic when the show launched in 1975.

“I'm so sad to hear of Richard Belzer's passing,” Newman tweeted. “I loved this guy so much. He was one of my first friends when I got to New York to do SNL. We used to go out to dinner every week at Sheepshead Bay for lobster. One of the funniest people ever. A master at crowd work. RIP dearest.”

Belzer was a staple of the comedy boom, having gotten his start in New York playing the Improv and Catch a Rising Star. In his early career, he also starred alongside Chevy Chase in the cult film The Groove Tube. Alongside Chase, Belzer was also part of National Lampoon’s Radio Hour.

Additionally, Belzer became known on television in the 90’s for his work on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit playing Detective John Munch, a role he played from 1993 until 2015.

He was also a prolific author, having written numerous books on conspiracy theories, including UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe, Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups, Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination, and Someone Is Hiding Something: What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?.

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