Marty Allen, Bug-Eyed Comedian with the Zany Hair, Dies at 95

Marty Allen, the bug-eyed comedian with wild hair, has passed away at the age of 95.

The comedian, whose catchphrase was “hello dear,” has now said goodbye. Candi Cazau, a spokesperson for Allen, announcing via the Associated Press that Allen died in Las Vegas of complications from pneumonia with his wife and performing partner, Kate Blackwell, by his side.

Allen first found fame when he became known as one-half of the Allen & Rossi duo in the 1950s and ‘60s with partner Steve Rossi, who passed away in 2014. The comedy duo popped up on TVs across America more than 700 times, including making 44 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, including three episodes that featured The Beatles.

“Everyone remembers those shows with The Beatles, and they were great, but we appeared on all the shows,” Allen said in 2014. “There wasn’t a talk show on TV that didn’t want Allen & Rossi.”

The Allen & Rossi duo also appeared regularly on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and The Merv Griffin Show. Prior to their 1968 breakup, the duo toured comedy clubs nationwide and released a series of hit albums.

Following the split, Allen went on to make a name of his own, taking on a series of roles on daytime television and made-for-TV movies, including Love: American Style, Night Gallery, Flying High, Monster Squad, Benson and It's Garry Shandling's Show, The Ballad of Billie Blue (1972), The Great Waltz (1972), Harrad Summer (1974), and Cannonball Run II (1984). He was also a regular on the game show The Hollywood Squares, where he was featured in more than 100 episodes.

In 2014, he published his autobiography titled Hello Dere!

Allen continued with the jokes well into his 90s, continuing to bring comedy to live audiences, including several appearances in Las Vegas.

“It’s unbelievable to be 94 years old,” Allen told a New York audience in 2016. “My wife says, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ I told her, ‘An antique.’ So she framed my birth certificate.”

Allen and his wife, Blackwell, last performed together at New York City’s Metropolitan Room in 2016.