PODCAST: Charles Nelson Reilly has BLANKED

Charles Nelson Reilly has BLANKED

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Charles Nelson Reilly

Charles Nelson Reilly, an award-winning actor and a regular on variety and game shows, has taken his Final Taxi at age 76.

He was famous for his oversized glasses and colourful suits during numerous TV appearances in the 1970s and ’80s.

Reilly directed five Broadway plays, appeared in the original productions of Bye Bye Birdie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hello, Dolly!, earned three Tony nominations, including one for directing the 1997 production of The Gin Game, and won one, for his supporting work in How to Succeed.

In 2002, Reilly won a Drama Desk Award for his one-man show of an autobiography, Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly.

Reilly guested on sitcoms (Nanny and the Professor, The Patty Duke Show,, Here’s Lucy, Family Matters, etc.), sat down on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show couch 95 times, per one popularly cited count, and, of course, did game shows.

Lots of game shows.

What’s My Line?, Baffle, Super Password and Hollywood Squares were among Reilly’s credits. Match Game was by far the biggest.
As for Match Game, it was less of a quiz show, and more of an excuse for Reilly, Brett Somers and Gene Rayburn (and sometimes Richard Dawson and Fannie Flagg) to bicker, try to make each other laugh, and unleash some barely doubled entendres.

Post-Match Game, Reilly frequently worked with Burt Reynolds, from Cannonball Run II to the star’s 1990s sitcom, Evening Shade. He also found success with Chris Carter, appearing on a 1996 episode of Carter’s The X-Files, and a 1997 episode of the producer’s lesser-known series, Millennium. Reilly played the same character, a writer named Jose Chung, in both Carter shows; he netted the second of his three career Emmy

Reilly also voiced Frank Frankenstone, Fred’s monstrous neighbor on The Flintstone Comedy Show and as the Dirty Bubble, one of Mermaid Man’s enemies on Spongebob Squarepants.


2 Responses

  1. I knew I was going to learn more about the man from you when I heard the news. Thanks for the details, good story.

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  2. Reilly made a lucrative career out of being wildly available for filling in for late-cancellations on talk shows. He’d literally be available within 30 minutes of a show. Also, he’d made numerous appearances on Dean Martin’s show (sometimes losing the script and winging it). Although he’s easy to dismiss as manic and flamboyant, the guy possessed a lot of talent and challenged himself in a tough business,

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