Kelly Monteith, US comedian also popular in UK, dead at 80

Comedian's career included appearances on The Tonight Show, The Love Boat and his own programme on the BBC

Kelly Monteith rose to fame in the UK after several appearances on The Des O'Connor Show. Getty
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Kelly Monteith, a US-born comedian whose observational humour and satirical sketches also brought him a wide following in Britain, has died at age 80.

His death was confirmed on Tuesday by Marlise Boland, executive producer of the Anglophile Channel, which he often worked with.

Ms Boland said Monteith died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He had suffered a stroke in 2021 and also battled aphasia.

Monteith was a St Louis native who built enough of an audience to appear in the 1970s on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, a major platform for rising young comics.

He was also popular on British talk shows and received an offer from the BBC for his own programme, Kelly Monteith, which ran from 1979-84.

Combining jokes about everyday life — from hospitals and restaurants to people's mindless habit of saying “thank you” in casual encounters, to spoofs of old movies — he was known for “breaking the fourth wall”, allowing his audience to see him in his dressing room before and after a show.

In 1983, he was among the entertainers at the Royal Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth II.

His other credits included guest appearances on the TV shows The Love Boat and Love American Style and the comedy album Lettuce Be Cool, released in 1984.

More recently, he looked back on his career as producer of Kelly Monteith’s BBC Memories and co-host of Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul and Two-Buck Chuck.

Monteith is survived by two children whom he had with his ex-wife, Caroline Alexander.

Updated: January 03, 2023, 9:56 PM