Peter Bergman (comedian)

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Peter Bergman
Peter Bergman 1976.jpg
Philip Proctor and Peter Bergman (right), 1976.
Peter Paul Bergman

(1939-11-29)November 29, 1939
DiedMarch 9, 2012(2012-03-09) (aged 72)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationYale School of Drama
Yale University
OccupationComedian, actor, writer
EmployerColumbia Records
Rolling Stone
Known forThe Firesign Theatre (1966-2012)
Coining the word "love-in" (1967)
Zachariah (1971)
Americathon (1979)
Pyst (1996)
Spouse(s)Maryedith Burrell
HonorsWoodrow Wilson Scholar, Eugene O'Neill Playwriting Fellow at the Yale School of Drama

Peter Paul Bergman (November 29, 1939 – March 9, 2012) was an American writer and comedian, best known as a member of the Firesign Theatre. He played Lt. Bradshaw in the Nick Danger series. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Shaker Heights High School in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights.[1]

The Firesign Theatre was formed as a result of Bergman's show Radio Free Oz on KPFK. According to Bergman, "I started July 24th, 1966 on KPFK ... I had some very interesting people around me, which those folks became the Firesign Theatre: David Ossman was connected with the station, Phil Austin was connected with the station, and Phil Proctor came out to do a show and we connected in LA and that was really the genesis of that whole happening." Bergman also coined the word "love-in" in 1967, and organized the first such event in April 1967 in Los Angeles.[2]

Bergman performed in a duo act with Philip Proctor in 1973, and at various times through 1990.

Bergman studied economics at Yale University, where he contributed to the campus humor magazine The Yale Record.[3] He taught economics as a Carnegie Fellow, and also attended the Yale School of Drama as a Eugene O'Neill Playwriting Fellow, and wrote two musicals for the Yale Dramatic Association with Austin Pendleton, where he met acting student Proctor. He was also a Woodrow Wilson Scholar. After college he worked with Tom Stoppard, Derek Marlowe, Piers Paul Read, and Spike Milligan.[2]

Stage versions of Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, The Further Adventures of Nick Danger, Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him, and "Temporarily Humboldt County" are published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc.


Peter Bergman died on March 9, 2012, at age 72, from complications involving leukemia.[4]


  1. ^ Shaker Heights Schools, "Hall of Fame Inducts Eight Graduates"
  2. ^ a b Peter Bergman
  3. ^ The Yew Norker (The New Yorker parody). New Haven: Yale Record. February–March, 1961,
  4. ^ SCPR News (March 9, 2012)

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