Comedian Joey Russell dies

He worked with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby

Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90.

Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s.

Russell served in WWII and later made giving back an integral part of his life; he established a local chapter of American Red Magen David for Israel and led 51 tours to Israel.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Josi, four sons and a daughter.

Donations may be sent in his name to American Friends of Magen David Odom at afmda.org.

More TV

  • THE EXPANSE -- "Intransigence" Episode 309

    'The Expanse' Moves to Amazon for Season 4

    Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90. Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s. Russell served in WWII and […]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV Review: 'Arrested Development' Season 5 on Netflix

    Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90. Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s. Russell served in WWII and […]

  • Showtime Executive, Gary Garfinkle.Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS©2012

    Gary Garfinkel, Co-Head of Content Acquisitions at Showtime, Dies at 55

    Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90. Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s. Russell served in WWII and […]

  • Ted Danson Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'The Good Place' Star Ted Danson on His 'Delicious' Role

    Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90. Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s. Russell served in WWII and […]

  • Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class'

    Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class' in Showrunner Switch

    Comedian Joey “Papa Joe” Russell died Sept. 25 in Milford, Conn. He was 90. Russell worked the nightclub circuit with Milton Berle and Norm Crosby. He parlayed his comic act to TV playing Happy the Clown, whose moniker was changed to Colonel Clown in New Haven, Conn., in the 1950s. Russell served in WWII and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content