Alan King, whose tirades against everyday suburban life established a long comedy career in nightclubs and television that he later expanded to Broadway and character roles in movies, died Sunday at age 76. The host of the New York Friars Club's celebrity roasts, which had recently returned as a staple on television's Comedy Central, died at a Manhattan hospital, said son Robert King. His assistant, Miriam Rothstein, cited lung cancer as the cause of death.
In 1972, King executive-produced the sitcom The Corner Bar, which was notable for featuring network television's first regularly appearing gay character, played by Vincent Schiavelli. King appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 93 times beginning in 1950. He starred in Sidney Lumet's 1980 comedy Just Tell Me What You Want and played supporting roles in more than 20 films, including Bye Bye Braverman, I the Jury, The Anderson Tapes, Lovesick, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Casino, and Rush Hour 2. He also produced several films, including Memories of Me, Wolfen, and Cattle Annie and Little Britches, and the 1997 television series The College of Comedy with Alan King. In the 1990s, he hosted the acclaimed Comedy Central talk show Inside the Comedy Mind with Alan King.