Pat Cooper, a stand-up comic who made fun of his Italian-American heritage and later publicly insulted celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Howard Stern, died Tuesday. He was 93.
Cooper, born Pasquale Caputo in Brooklyn, New York, died at his home in Las Vegas, The New York Times reported.
The bespectacled, fast-talking comedian often appeared on shows hosted by Ed Sullivan during the 1960s and later with Stern, according to Variety. He appeared as himself in an episode of “Seinfeld” and also had a part in the 1999 film “Analyze This” and its sequel, “Analyze That,” according to IMDb.com.
Cooper was a mainstay in nightclubs from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. He opened for Sinatra at the Sands and for Ginger Rogers at the Desert Inn, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He said he once refused to delete a joke from his routine about an upside-down St. Anthony statue that Sinatra wanted removed and never worked with the singer again, the entertainment news website reported.
Cooper, wearing his signature eyeglasses and a tuxedo, would angrily rant -- in a comedic way -- about his background, his family, people who he believed had played him dirty and anything else that bothered him, according to the Times.
He got his big break in 1963 with an appearance on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” the newspaper reported. He also became an opening act for Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr. at various nightclubs.
Cooper also made appearances on television shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Dean Martin, the Times reported.
Cooper released several comedy albums, including “Our Hero,” in 1965, Variety reported.
“It does for the Italian-American community what Jackie Mason did for the Jewish-American community,” Billboard wrote.
Cooper’s followed up with “Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights” in 1966.
His stand-up routine and albums caused friction among Cooper’s family, but he was unrepentant.
“The only way I can beat them, I made fun of them,” Cooper told the Times in 2014.
Cooper published an autobiography, “How Dare You Say How Dare Me!” in 2011, the newspaper reported.
Pasquale Vito Caputo was born on July 31, 1929, in Brooklyn. He said he did not have a happy childhood.
“I think I broke a record in my neighborhood -- I think I must have run away 14 times,” Cooper told the Times. “People don’t run away from good homes.”
While starring alongside Robert De Niro in the “Analyze” movies, Cooper said he refused Martin Scorsese’s invitation to appear in the 1995 film “Casino,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cooper said at the time that he was “a name performer” who deserved more than three lines of dialogue.
“I am a semi name,” Cooper told the New York Observer in 1999. “I am not a Rodney Dangerfield. I am not a Bob Hope. I am a consistent performer. I’m packing rooms. But I’m happier than Rodney will ever be.”
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