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Jackie Mason, rabbi turned comedian, dies aged 93

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image captionComedians around the world have paid tribute to Jackie Mason on social media

Jackie Mason, the US comedian and actor, has died at the age of 93.

The stand-up was ordained as a rabbi before turning to show-business in the 1950s. He was well known for his social commentary, talk show appearances and one-man shows on Broadway.

Mason won numerous awards in his career, including a Tony Award and an Emmy for voicing Krusty the Clown’s father on The Simpsons.

Comedians around the world have paid tribute to the star on social media.

“Truly one of the funniest shows I have ever seen… ever,” actor Henry Winkler tweeted. “Thank you Jackie and now you get to make heaven laugh.”

UK comedian Omid Djalili wrote: “Currently imagining a long queue at the Pearly Gates as St Peter makes Jackie Mason do his whole act for him. RIP Jackie.”

Born Yacob Maza in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on 9 June 1928, Mason and his family moved to New York when he was five.

His father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had all been rabbis, and after college he was ordained and began leading congregations in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

He would later tell the Chicago Tribune that a lot of non-Jewish people “would come to the congregation just to hear the sermons” because he told so many jokes. Mason turned to comedy full-time after his father died in the late 1950s.

Known for his heavy New York Jewish accent, Mason’s humour was based on pun, innuendo, and sometimes politically incorrect humour.

“Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe,” he once joked.

The comedian was a registered Republican, and later in life spoke out in defence of US President Donald Trump. He was also staunchly pro-Israel.

Mason was hospitalised two weeks ago and died at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital on Saturday.

He is survived by his wife Jyll Rosenfeld and daughter Sheba.

media captionBehind the scenes with Jackie Mason

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