Comedian Jonathan Winters has died at 87. Winters was a pioneer in improvisational standup and the use of impressions in mini-skits within the monologue. He deeply influenced Robin Williams. Dana Carvey’s mix of impressions and irony seems to me also to stand in the Winters tradition. In many ways, our contemporary comedic sensibility owes a great deal to him.
About the Author
Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page