This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Robert Klein.
For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences with a career in comedy and acting that spans Broadway, television, and film. He will be performing his celebrated stand-up at the Suncoast Casino Showroom on November 16th and 17th.
Born in the Bronx, he was a member of the famed “Second City” theatrical troupe in Chicago.
He was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album of the Year” for his albums “Child of the Fifties” and “Mind Over Matter.”
Klein received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical, “They’re Playing Our Song.” In 1993, Klein won an Obie and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Wendy Wasserstein’s, “The Sisters Rosensweig.”
In 1975, he was the first comedian to appear in a live concert on Home Box Office. He has gone on to do nine one-man shows for HBO.
Klein released “Robert Klein: The HBO Specials 1975-2005,” a collector’s DVD box set to critical acclaim.
His most recent special for HBO, “Robert Klein: Unfair and Unbalanced” aired on June 12th, 2010 and is also available on DVD.
Among dozens of starring and guest-starring roles on television, he co-starred in the hit NBC series, “Sisters,” and recently has a recurring guest-starring role on “Law and Order.” He regularly appears on talk-shows, making more than 100 appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “Late Show with David Letterman” alone.
Klein has also appeared in many notable films including, “Hooper,” “The Owl and the Pussycat,” “Primary Colors,” “People I Know,” “Two Weeks Notice,” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and “The Back-Up Plan” with Jennifer Lopez.
“The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue,” his first book for Simon & Schuster, is an affectionate coming-of-age memoir about growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s before embarking on a show business career. In it he recounts his journey from an apartment in the Bronx, developing his talent in Chicago and the beginning of his show business stardom. The book is pure Robert Klein: witty, honest, self-questioning and always contagiously funny. Publishers Weekly wrote: “…he unfurls an array of captivating anecdotes, writing with wry wit and honesty.”
Klein, a lifelong New Yorker, makes his home in Westchester and New York City.