Mort Sahl

Born May 11, 1927

Morton Lyon "Mort" Sahl is a Canadian-born American comedian and actor. He occasionally wrote jokes for speeches delivered by President John F. Kennedy. He was the first comedian to record a live album and the first to perform on college campuses. He was on the cover of Time magazine in 1960 where they called him "the patriarch of a new school of comedians".… Read More

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1927 Birth Sahl was born on May 11, 1927 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the only child of Jewish parents. … Read More


1947 20 Years Old He was discharged in 1947 and enrolled in Compton College, followed by the University of Southern California.
1950 23 Years Old 1 More Event
He received a B.S. degree in 1950 with majors in traffic engineering and city management. … Read More
1953 26 Years Old 1 More Event
Sahl spent his early years in Los Angeles and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he made his professional stage debut at the hungry i nightclub in 1953. … Read More
1954 - 1955 2 More Events
1956 29 Years Old …  Along with his nightclub performances, he appeared in some films and on television shows, including his network debut on The NBC Comedy Hour in May 1956. … Read More


1960 33 Years Old He was not fond of television news, however, which he blamed in 1960 for "spoon-feeding" the public, and was therefore responsible for the "corruption and ignorance that may sink this country." … Read More
1963 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Numerous politicians became his fans, with John F. Kennedy asking him to write his jokes for campaign speeches. After Kennedy's assassination in 1963, however, Sahl became obsessed with what he saw as the Warren Report's inaccuracy and conclusions, and spoke about it often during his shows. … Read More
1964 37 Years Old His income dropped from $1 million to $19,000 by 1964. … Read More


1967 40 Years Old In 1967 he married actress and model China Lee and they divorced in 1991.


1987 - 1988 2 More Events
1991 64 Years Old The Monitor Channel broadcast a series of eight shows called Mort Sahl Live beginning in November 1991. … Read More
1996 69 Years Old They had one son, Mort Sahl Jr., who died in 1996, aged 19, from an unknown drug-related reaction.
1997 70 Years Old In 1997 he married Kenslea Sahl and they divorced around 2009. … Read More
2007 80 Years Old In June 2007 a number of star comedians gave Sahl an 80th birthday tribute.
2008 81 Years Old Sahl does not drink, smoke, use drugs or use swear words, on or off stage. In 2008, Sahl moved from Los Angeles to Mill Valley, a suburb of San Francisco, where he became friends with comedian Robin Williams who lived nearby.
2011 84 Years Old In 2011, the Library of Congress placed his 1955 recording, At Sunset, on the National Recording Registry. … Read More
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