Shelley Berman, comedian-bard of everyday life, dies at 92

NEW YORK (AP) A comedian whose groundbreaking routines in the 1950s and 1960s addressed the annoyances of everyday life, has died. Shelley Berman was 92.

Publicist Glenn Schwartz says Berman died Friday at his home in Bell Canyon, California.

Berman won gold records and appeared on top television shows as a pioneer of a new brand of comedy that could evoke laughter from such matters as air travel discomforts and small children who answer the telephone.

He paved the way for Woody Allen, Bob Newhart, Jerry Seinfeld and other comedians who fashioned their routines around the follies and frustrations of modern living.

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Late in his career, he played Nat David, father of Larry David, on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Berman made the first of many appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1959. That year he issued his first album, "Inside Shelley Berman" the first winner of a Grammy for the spoken word.