Rip Taylor Dead, Confetti-Chucking Comedian Was 84

Rip Taylor attends an event at the Pantages Theater in 2011
Angela Weiss / Getty Images

The comedy world has lost another legend.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Rip Taylor passed away on Sunday at the age of 84-years-old. “The King of Confetti” was in the comedy business for over 60 years and also went by the moniker “The Crying Comedian.” Taylor’s publicist, Harlan Boll, announced the sad news today that his longtime client had passed away in Beverly Hills. As The Inquisitr previously reported, fans believed Taylor had died several months ago after mistaking him for actor Rip Torn who had passed away.

As many fans would attend a Gallagher show expecting to leave covered in watermelon, those who attended a Taylor show knew they were going to be drenched in confetti as they exited their theaters that night.

Taylor was also known for his blond toupee and well-manicured matching mustache. Taylor was well known to all generations thanks to stints on shows like The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, and Popeye and Son. Generation X and Y might remember his epic cameo in Wayne’s World 2 when the comedian showed up to help Wayne and Garth by appearing in WayneStock. Taylor also showed up in all three Jackass films, confetti and all. His last credited role came in 2012 in the film, Silent But Deadly.

The comedian was born Charles Elmer Taylor Jr. on January 13, 1935, in Washington, D.C. Taylor eventually enlisted in the army and entertained troops in Korea and Tokyo. Later in his comedy career, Taylor starred in many popular Broadway shows, including Peter Pan, Sugar Babies, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His final one-man show, It Ain’t All Confetti, began in 2010 in North Hollywood.

Taylor married only once in his long life, to Las Vegas showgirl Rusty Rowe. The two divorced after a few years. Taylor was identified as “openly gay” by author Brent Hartinger, which peeved the comedian to the core.

“You don’t know me to summarize that I am openly gay,” Taylor responded in 2008. “I don’t know that you’re not an openly heroin user. You see how that works? Think before you write.”

The actor was also known for his close friendship with Liberace. Taylor reportedly cut the ribbon at Liberace’s estate auction in 1988.

Those in the comedy world have begun to mourn Taylor on Twitter. Fans are sharing their condolences online as well, many with GIFs of Taylor throwing bouts of confetti.


Taylor is survived by his partner, Robert Fortney. In lieu of flowers, friends and family ask that donations be made to The Thalians, the charitable organization that focuses on mental health issues.

There currently is no known cause of death.