Comedian Peter Bergman dead at 72

March 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM
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LOS ANGELES, March 9 (UPI) -- Comedian and radio personality Peter Bergman died of leukemia Friday in Santa Monica, Calif., his comedy troupe Firesign Theatre said. He was 72.

"We are very sad to report that Peter Bergman, a founding member of the Firesign Theatre and the driving force behind 'Radio Free Oz' in all its incarnations, passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, March 9, 2012 due to complications from leukemia," the statement said.

Born Nov. 29, 1939 in Cleveland, Bergman was host of "Radio Free Oz" on KPFK-FM, Los Angeles in the 1960s, when he joined with David Ossman, Phil Austin and Phil Procter to form Firesign Theatre. The troupe combined elements of surrealism and traditional comedy to produce comedy albums including "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus," "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All" and "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers."

Bergman was a graduate of Yale University, where he was managing editor of the university's comedy magazine, Firesign Theatre said on its Web site. He was a Carnegie teaching fellow in economics at Yale and the Eugene O'Neill playwriting fellow at the Yale School of Drama.

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