Born in the Bronx on 8 February 1942, Robert Klein is a stand up comedian, actor and singer who thought early on that the entertainment business was not suited for a middle class kid from the Bronx. And so, after graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, he enrolled at the Alfred University intending to take up medicine but later changed his mind when he joined the college’s acting troupe and graduated instead in 1962 with a degree in political science and history. He then went on to Yale Drama School and later auditioned, and got accepted in 1965 in the famous “Second City,” where he spent the single most important year of his career.
Returning to New York, Robert Klein was spotted by producer Mike Nichols who gave him a role in the Broadway musical “Apple Tree.” At the same time, he also started working on stand-up comedy material and in 1970, starred in “Comedy Tonight,” which garnered acclaim. Three years later, Klein came up with his first album under Rhino Records, “Child of the Fifties,” that earned him a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album of the Year followed by another Grammy nominee “Mind Over Matter,” and “New Teeth.” Due to popular demand, Rhino re-released in the 1990s “Child of the Fifties, “Mind Over Matter” and “New Teeth.”
Robert Klein achieved great recognition for his comedic talent in 1973 when his first sold out concert “The First Annual Robert Klein Reunion,” was critically acclaimed and affirmed his rightful place in contemporary entertainment that inspired aspiring comedians of his era. Six years later, he clinched a Los Angeles Critics Circle Award for his performance in the Broadway hit musical with Lucy Arnaz, “They’re Playing Our Song.” In 1993, Klein won an Obie Award for Performance and Other Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by and Actor for his stand out role in “The Sisters Rosensweig.”
The colorful show business career of Robert Klein is not only varied but also outstanding, to say the least. He has appeared for over 20 years in popular talk shows such as “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” He has appeared and starred in countless films of different genres on TV and the big screen alongside Hollywood big names such as Burt Reynolds, Barbra Streisand, Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Glen Close and Al Pacino.
Robert Klein, who is known for attacking conservatives in his comedy act and being soft on liberals, has also written a book in his honest yet contagiously funny style. Titled “The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue,” the book is a memoir that is liberally sprinkled with captivating anecdotes recounting his journey from the Bronx to Hollywood.