||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
Taylor (right) with Jack Betts in November 2010
|Birth name||Charles Elmer Taylor, Jr.|
January 13, 1934 |
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Influences||Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, Redd Foxx, Mickey Rooney|
|Influenced||Dana Snyder, Carrot Top|
Taylor was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Elizabeth, a waitress, and Charles Elmer Taylor, Sr., a musician. As a young man, Taylor served in the Korean War while in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
After serving a stint in the Army, Taylor appeared in two episodes of The Monkees television series in 1968. He continued to work as a voice performer in the 1970s NBC cartoon series Here Comes the Grump (as the title character) and in the second The Addams Family cartoon series (as Uncle Fester).
Throughout the 1970s Rip Taylor was a frequent celebrity guest panelist on game shows such as Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth, and The Gong Show, and substituted for Charles Nelson Reilly on The Match Game. He became a regular on Sid & Marty Krofft's Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, playing Sheldon, a sea-genie who lived in a conch shell. In addition, Taylor was also a regular on The Brady Bunch Hour, playing a role of neighbor / performer Jack Merrill. He also hosted a short-lived send-up of beauty pageants called The $1.98 Beauty Show created by Gong Show producer/host Chuck Barris, in 1978. Taylor appeared as a celebrity on the slot-machine version of Match Game. in 1979 he was the voice of C.J. from the Hanna-Barbera TV movie Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood.
In 1988 Taylor and Patty Duke appeared on Super Password for one week. On one of the episodes, in the first game of a match, Taylor struggled to give a clue for the word "testimony". After coming up with "Episcopalian", host Bert Convy humorously remarked about Taylor's struggles, and after Taylor's contestant partner failed to guess his reaction resulted in him talking over Duke's clue ("witness"). Duke then said the password after she was allowed to repeat the clue, and Convy lost control of the show shortly thereafter. Taylor got up from his seat, grabbed a stool and threw it to the ground. Then, in a move he claimed he'd never done before in the history of network television, Taylor took his toupee off and shook it at the camera, saying "that's not fair". After a few more seconds, Taylor eventually took the toupee back from Convy and put it on backwards. He then took it off and left it off for the rest of the show.
In 1997, Taylor appeared in a segment on the show "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction". He played the role of Elmo Middleton in the segment titled "The Man in the Model T". Also in 1997, he appeared as himself on the sitcom Brotherly Love in the episode "Easy Come Easy Go". He also portrayed Chief Undersecretary Wartle in the graphical adventure game Zork: Grand Inquisitor in 1997.
In 2003, Taylor also appeared as himself on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. In 2005, he appeared as himself on an episode of ABC TV's George Lopez. Taylor guest-starred as chef "Rappin' Rip" in four episodes of an earlier ABC sitcom featuring Lopez, Life With Bonnie.
Taylor is an accomplice of the Jackass crew. In 1995, he performed the intro for the Bloodhound Gang's Use Your Fingers album, and in 2002, he appeared in the final scene of Jackass: The Movie, wielding a pistol that, when fired, released a sign that read "The End." (Taylor's section of the film was originally considerably longer, and ended with him complaining about the heat, and fanning himself with his toupee. This footage was included on the DVD of the film.) He did the same thing at the ending of Jackass: Number Two and Jackass 3D. In the credits of the 2005 remake of The Dukes of Hazzard, Rip shows up in the blooper reel.
He guest starred in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode "Loosely Ballroom" as Leo. He is also in some episodes of The Emperor's New School, as the voice of the Royal Record Keeper. He was also recently in the Jetix animated series Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!
He was also in the 1990 summer movie DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp as the voice of the Genie.
Taylor has made occasional appearances in movies, usually in broad comedies like the R-rated Deep Throat parody Chatterbox. In Amazon Women on the Moon a funeral service turns into a celebrity roast when guest Rip Taylor shows up to "honor" the deceased. In Cheech and Chong's Things Are Tough All Over, he picks them up in the middle of nowhere driving a convertible full of props. Rip then proceeds to drive them to Las Vegas and telling jokes the whole way and moving Chong to tears from laughter. In 1993, Taylor also appeared in Tom and Jerry: The Movie as Captain Kiddle, and in Wayne's World 2. In 1993's Indecent Proposal as Demi Moore's boss, he appears without his toupee.
He made a special guest appearance at the end of the 1,000th episode of G4's videogame review show X-Play. He more recently made a guest appearance on a 2012 episode of The Aquabats! Super Show! where he played a genie reminiscent of his character on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
Taylor appeared for three years in the burlesque-themed musical comedy Sugar Babies, and was featured on the soundtrack album. He has been a frequent co-star with Debbie Reynolds in her live shows in Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe.
Outside the entertainment industry
Prior to becoming famous, Taylor was a page in the U.S. Senate.
Taylor is known for his high-voiced yells, wacky toupée, and handlebar moustache over a perpetually toothy grin. He often enters a venue tossing handfuls of confetti from a paper bag onto his audience and laughing hysterically, while the band plays his theme song, "Happy Days Are Here Again."
Taylor's comedic style includes puns, often in conjunction with props (for example, holding up a plastic fish full of holes and exclaiming "Holy Mackerel!") and miming along to novelty records (including the works of Spike Jones). If he gets little or no reaction following one of his jokes, he stops for a moment and yells at the audience: "I don't dance, folks! This is it!" Or, "Hello? Can you people hear me?"
Awards and honors
Taylor was named Las Vegas "Entertainer of the Year" for three consecutive years during the 1970s. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre which is located at 6625 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
- Rip Taylor's personal webpage
- An interview with Rip Taylor, May 2011
- Rip Taylor at the Internet Movie Database