Obit Rip Taylor

In this Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010, file photo, comedian Rip Taylor throws confetti on photographers at the premiere of the film "Jackass 3D," in Los Angeles. Taylor, the mustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s, died Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. He was 88.

CORRECTION: In a story Oct. 6 about the death of comedian Rip Taylor, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was 84. The age came from his publicist, who was relying on incorrect information from the comedian. According to U.S. Census records, Taylor was 88.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rip Taylor, the madcap mustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s, has died. He was 88.

Taylor died Sunday in Beverly Hills, California, publicist Harlan Boll said.

The man who would become known worldwide as Rip did not have a direct line into show business. He was born Charles Elmer Taylor Jr. in Washington, D.C., to a waitress and a musician and first worked as a congressional page before serving in the Army during the Korean War, where he started performing standup.

His ascent began with spots on "The Ed Sullivan Show," where he was known as the "crying comedian." The moniker pre-dated his television stints, however, and went back to his time in the Catskills.

"I sat on a stool telling jokes, and nobody was laughing," he told UPI in 1992. "In desperation, I pretended to cry as I begged them to laugh. That killed 'em."

It's where he said the character "Rip" came from.

Although he readily admitted stealing jokes from USO shows, the crying comedian bit got him to Ed Sullivan, where the host — forgetting Taylor's name — would say "get me the crying comedian."