The fort has collapsed on US comic actor Larry Storch, who has hunkered down at a grand 99. Growing up during the Great Depression, he scraped by as a comic with a knack for impressions. Several encounters during his WWII naval service were key to Storch’s career success – a chance meeting with Phil Harris forged his way into radio and TV, while a friendship sparked with shipmate Tony Curtis secured him steady film work down the line in Curtis-starred films such as The Great Race. He kept active in comedy circuits, and him greeting “Judy, Judy, Judy” Garland in the middle of a Cary Grant impersonation originated one of film’s earliest misquotes.
Storch was most prolific on the small screen, with his best-known role as buffoonish yes-man sidekick Corporal Randolph Agarn in Reconstruction-era-set Western sitcom F Troop. The show’s last surviving regular, a running gag through the series involved appearances by foreigner cousins of Agarn, who were always played by Storch using a different dialect. He lent guest appearances to numerous other 60s and 70s US programmes, including a scrappy drunk in Car 54 Where Are You?, the hypnotic Groovy Guru in Get Smart, and an irritable driving instructor in Columbo exasperated by the Lieutenant’s recklessness at the wheel! He reunited with his F Troop co-star Forrest Tucker for short-lived kid’s sitcom The Ghost Busters (not that one), and ran an acting school in Married… with Children in one of his final TV roles.
Storch complemented his live-action career with a prolific amount of voiceover roles, among them the sagely Mr. Whoopee in Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales and the first animated portrayal of the Joker. Some of the final cartoons in the original run of Looney Tunes theatrical shorts featured characters voiced by Storch, albeit they are wisely forgotten today (and in fairness to Storch, Mel Blanc himself could have voiced Cool Cat and Cool Cat would still be shite). His Facebook fanpage continued to post new Storch videos in recent months, where he looked well enough to make 100 but sounded hoarse enough to instead fall six months short. Among the 15 teams to press F (Troop) to pay respects are Dead By Dawn, Tentoesup, Phantom’s Pick ‘n’ Mix, and a joker hit for sid and marty coffin.
8 January 1923 – 8 July 2022, aged 99
15 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀💀 5 POINTS, 🃏 (x1) 10 POINTS)