Puttin’ on the Ritz!

Peter Boyle has died.

If you’re old enough (or just like great classic comedies), you know him as the lovably scary Frankenstein Monster from Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. If you’re not, you probably know him as the lovably grouchy dad from Everybody Loves Raymond.

If you’ve never seen Young Frankenstein, rent it from NetFlix or the library. It’s absolutely hilarious. Boyle’s rendition of Putting on the Ritz while dancing in a tuxedo is a classic bit of comedy. I still find myself, twenty-plus years later, wailing “puhhin on the riiiz!” in a unintelligible roar.

If you were an X-Files fan, you may also remember him from the episode “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”, where Boyle plays the title character, a psychic who doesn’t want to be a psychic. It’s one of the great X-Files episodes, and much of that is because Boyle can portray pathos better than just about anyone: you really do feel bad for what he has to go through.

Rest In Peace, Peter.

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