, born Charles Elmer Jr. on January 13, 1930
. When he was two years old his father died of tuberculosis
and his teenage mother was forced to place him in a foster home
, where by his account he suffered horrendous abuse
He was a page in the United States Senate with dreams of becomung a politician, but his ambitions were derailed when he was drafted into the Army's signal corps during the Korean War. There he began putting on shows for the troops, pantomiming over records. He parlayed this into a career as a comedian, his big break coming when scouts from the Ed Sullivan show saw his act at a hotel in the Catskills.
During the 1970s Taylor was a fixture in Las Vegas showrooms and on television, appearing on the Merv Griffin Show, The Gong Show, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, and as a regular cast member on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. He sometimes appears on Howard Stern's radio show and The Bloodhound Gang has a song called "Rip Taylor Is God".
Taylor is instantly recognizable by his wild hair, curling handlebar moustache, and his rapid patter, and often starts his act by throwing handfuls of confetti at the audience (a shtick that began when he was bombing on the Merv Griffin show and simply tore the script up and threw it into the air).
"Get it? It's FUNNY!"