This is so sad; I was a huge fan of her comedy, starting with her performance as Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show (one of the best shows ever!) and continuing on to her own eponymous show set in Minneapolis. She was not just a comedian, but an actress, nominated for an Oscar for the movie “Ordinary People.” She was one of those people whose death you simply couldn’t imagine.
Here’s one clip from her show, an episode called “Chuckles bites the dust,” about an expired clown. It shows as well as anything the range of her comedic talent.
Chuckles the Clown is dead. He had dressed as the character Peter Peanut, and a rogue elephant tried to “shell” him during a parade. The unusual circumstances of Chuckles’ death provoke a wave of jokes (“You know how hard it is to stop after just one peanut!” and, “He could’ve gone as Billy Banana and had a gorilla peel him to death”). Everyone is consumed with uncontrollable laughter, with the exception of Mary, who is appalled by her co-workers’ apparent lack of respect for the dead.
Well, things change through the clip: