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August 13, 1951 |
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Jeff Altman (born August 13, 1951) is an American stand-up comedian and actor who has appeared as a guest on Late Show with David Letterman 41 times. In a recent appearance (June 19, 2014), Altman played a card trick where, after Letterman displayed much doubt in the authenticity of the trick, he isolated and found the card that Letterman picked and signed. Altman mesmerized contemporaries like David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld, and inspired future comedians like Judd Apatow.
Altman has also had numerous acting roles in movies and television such as Dr. Gene Splicer in Tiny Toon Adventures, Professor Dweeb in Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters, Clint Mullet on Mork and Mindy, and is perhaps best known for his recurring role as Hughie Hogg, the nephew of Jefferson Davis Hogg, on The Dukes of Hazzard.
Altman was a TV cast member in the 1977 Starland Vocal Band Show, and later appeared as sleazy record promoter Lennie Richfield in the movie American Hot Wax in 1978. Altman also had a starring role as the host of the short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady and Jeff in 1980, which TV Guide has ranked #35 on its "50 Worst TV Shows of All Time" list. Later in the decade, he became the in-house comedian of Solid Gold, where his characters included Al Punker, fast-talking proprietor of "Al Punker's Music Barn," the "music vampire Count Downula," and the ex-boxer Leonard Moon, the last of whom would state "I don't have the brains of a ice cube" and claim, "I am the Solid Gold music critic. Tonight, my subject is music."
Altman has directed many sitcoms, and in the mid-1980s he was the spokesman for Arby's restaurants. He also has been the (uncredited) host of the defensive driving course available through Blockbuster Video.
A regular feature of his stand-up act has typically included a comical impression of his father, and he[who?] continued to find his[who?] Nixon impression humorous well into the 1980s.
Altman was born in Syracuse, New York. At Nottingham Senior High School in Syracuse, he played third singles on the school's tennis team and was on the wrestling team. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in the early 1970s, showcasing his early show business flair to fellow members of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity. Altman is a drummer, and a longtime fan of Buddy Rich, whom he once enticed to appear at Hopkins for one of his classes.
Altman is also an accomplished magician. A much admired "card man", one of his effects has been included in the famous Tarbell Course in Magic.
Altman has a daughter, Faith E. Altman born April 12, 1989 with his ex-wife, the actress Leslie Ackerman.
- Caesar, Sid; Friedfeld, Eddy (2003-11-05). Caesar's hours: my life in comedy, with love and laughter. PublicAffairs. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-1-58648-152-0. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Letterman and Seinfeld on the Comic Genius of Jeff Altman". Esquire. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2016-01-23.