Bob Elliott, half of the famed radio and television comedy team of Bob and Ray, died Tuesday from throat cancer, the New York Times reports. He was 92.
Elliott and his comedy partner Ray Goulding performed unique skits, as they took turns playing the jokester or straight man, while most comedy duos had one permanent person for each role. Soft-spoken Elliot and rambunctious Ray hosted the TV sketch show “The Bob and Ray Show” from 1951-1953.
The duo recorded comedy albums and frequently appeared on “The Tonight Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and were seen in Norman Lear’s “Cold Turkey” and Arthur Hiller’s “Author! Author!” Staring in 1970, they starred in “Bob and Ray: The Two and Only” on Broadway.
“I like jokes, but Ray and I, we never did jokes,” Elliott said in a 2011 interview with the Archive of American Television. “We weren’t in that line of humor. We each contributed our own kind of observations. I’m glad to have people look at, and laugh at, and respect, and get some creative juice out of what we did by observing.”
The patriarch of a comedic family, Elliott had two family members who were on “Saturday Night Live”: actor-writer son Chris Elliott and actress-comedian granddaughter Abby Elliott.
After Goulding’s death in 1990, Elliott continued his career in comedy, appearing as a cast member on Garrison Keillor’s “American Radio Company of the Air” and was featured in Bill Murray’s “Quick Change.” Elliott also played Chris’ father on Fox’s “Get a Life” from 1990-1992 and in “Cabin Boy.”