Martin Mull

Active - 1978 - 2018  |   Born - Aug 18, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Martin Mull intended to become a painter when he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, but his Scaramouche-like sense of the ridiculous led to a career as a nightclub comedian. The deceptively conservative-looking Mull is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished satirists in show business. Even before he gained TV fame, Mull's barbed comedy albums had earned him a following on the college campus circuit. His first major TV assignment was Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (1976-77), where he was seen as Garth Gimble, an ill-tempered wife beater who ended up being impaled by a Christmas tree. When Mary Hartman Mary Hartman producer Norman Lear developed the spin-off series Fernwood Tonight in 1977, Mull was brought back as glad-handing emcee Barth Gimble, Garth's twin brother. In films since 1978, Mull is often called upon to portray an underhanded or vacillating CEO (vide Mister Mom). His well-groomed mustache and tweedy appearance served him well as Colonel Mustard in the 1985 movie version of the venerable board game Clue. Back on television, Mull has etched such indelible comic characterizations as Leon Carp, Roseanne Connor's gay boss, on Roseanne (1988- ), and the leading roles of Martin Crane in Domestic Life (1984) and Dr. Doug Lambert in His & Hers (1990). In collaboration with Allan Rucker, Martin Mull was the creator/writer of a devastating series of lampoonish "cultural studies" books and TV specials, under the blanket title The History of White People in America.

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  • Is an accomplished artist whose paintings have been shown in galleries and museums around the world.
  • Organized bands and performed stand-up comedy in order to pay his tuition at Rhode Island School of Design.
  • Released his first album, Martin Mull, in 1972.
  • Released the book Painting, Drawing and Words in 1995, which showcased a collection of essays and reproductions of his art.