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Freeman & Murray - Freeman King And Murray Langston 1973

On: Friday, October 7, 2011

 Freeman King
Birth name
Official Site

Murray Langston
Birth name: n/a
aka Unknown Comic
1945 -
Official Site
Freeman King, an actor and comedian was best known for his appearances on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" in the 1970s.  King, who fashioned a career as a character actor in films and television, died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on his birthday, Saturday.
Born on a farm in Pelahatchie, Miss., King moved to California in the early 1960s and graduated from Compton High School in 1962. He studied drama at Los Angeles City College.
While doing stand-up comedy at Redd Foxx's club in Los Angeles, Foxx suggested that King team up with Canadian comedian Murray Langston, who was also working there. This led to a role on the weekly "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" from 1971 to 1974. He later appeared as disc jockey "Dr. D" on the popular program "Dance Fever."
Over the years, King appeared in television shows such as "Hunter," "Moonlighting," "Hill Street Blues," "The Incredible Hulk" and "Starsky & Hutch." He also showed up as a panelist on shows including "The Match Game," "The Gong Show" and "The $1.98 Beauty Show." Source: excerpt from LATimes

Murray Langston began his career in 1970, appearing on the popular TV show Laugh-In, doing impressions of a Fork, a Tube of Toothpaste and a Grandfather Clock. After that appearance, it was the typical Hollywood story for Murray. He couldn't find another job for over two years. Selling shoes on the side (during the mini skirt craze), he began hanging around a club owned by Redd Foxx and frequented by the likes of Flip Wilson and Cheech and Chong.
Redd Foxx took a liking to Murray and suggested he team with a comic named Freeman King. They did and soon after appeared on several episodes of Midnight Special. They were spotted by producers and soon became regular performers on the Sonny and Cher Show.
After over a hundred appearances with Sonny and Cher, Murray continued his work as a comic support actor, by appearing as a regular on many more television series, including The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show, The Wolfman Jack Show, The Lola Falana Show and The Bobby Vinton Show.
During this time, Murray invested in a nightclub restaurant he called Show-Biz, which became the springboard for many aspiring performers of the day, including David Letterman, Michael Keaton, Gallagher, Tim Reid and Debra Winger. However, having little knowledge of restaurant management, Murray specialized in bankruptcy, losing his club and all his savings in two years.
At this time, The Gong Show was very popular and Murray decided to try out an act because he needed the money. However, he didn't want his friends to know how desperate he had become, so in order to keep from being recognized, he decided to place a paper-bag over his head, memorized a few old jokes, and voila… The Unknown Comic was born.
The Unknown Comic became an instant hit, appearing on over a hundred and fifty Gong Show episodes. It didn' t take long for Murray to realize he had developed a character he could capitalize on. Within six months, he put together an act and signed a long term contract with the Sahara Hotels in Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe, appearing regularly in their lounges, while making the rounds on all the popular talk and variety shows.
In his spare time, he co-headlined around the country with artists, including Mellissa Manchester, Lola Falana, Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Gladys Knight and many more. Murray was also the first to produce an all comedy show in Las Vegas, using many of the nation' s top comics to open for him. Pat Paulsen, Elaine Boozler, Yakov Smirnoff, George Miller, Willie Tyler and Lester, and Wil Shriner all worked for Murray at several Las Vegas Hotels.
Next, Murray ventured into the cable arena, producing and directing, The Unknown Comedy Hour for the Playboy Channel which became their second highest rated show that year. Murray also starred in another show for the Playboy Channel, The Sex and Violence Family Hour with then unknown Jim Carrey.
Murray wrote and starred in the film, Night Patrol, co-starring Linda Blair, Pat Paulsen, Billy Barty and Andrew Dice Clay. While still performing on various television shows, Murray took a loan on his home and produced, wrote and starred in another film, Up Your Alley a romantic comedy that also starred Linda Blair, along with Ruth Buzzi and Yakov Smirnoff. Murray followed this up by writing and directing another film, Wishful Thinking, which was released on Home Video by Helmdale. Murray also worked with Dom DeLuise writing and performing on the The New Candid Camera Show.
Shortly thereafter, Murray married and became the father of a beautiful little girl named Myah. An unfortunate divorce resulted and Murray, realizing his child was his priority, decided to retire from show business to concentrate on raising his daughter as a single dad.
Ten years later, his daughter asked him to get a job. So Murray, realizing that nobody had known he had retired, Murray decided to come back with a vengeance – making sure the next time he retires, people besides his relatives will know.
So, this past year he has hosted the 25th anniversary of The Gong Show, appeared on the Howard Stern Show, performed at the Hilton in Las Vegas and at the beginning of 2002, shot a pilot called The Rich Generation, in which he has a recurring role.
Murray was thrilled to be asked to be a part of CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND. He will also be seen in the upcoming film Levity, starring Billy Bob Thornton.
Of course, he is also involved in a whole bunch of other stuff that he doesn't really want to discuss at the moment because he prefers to remain Unknown. Get ready to hear more from that quirky guy with the bag over his head. Source: Filmbug

Laff Records A-165

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