When you are universally regarded as an American original, there are bound to be a lot of “firsts.”
Lauded for his fearless brand of political satire and incisive view of the human condition, Mort Sahl was the first humorist on the cover of Time magazine. Mort has also graced the covers of The New Yorker, Life, Look and Playboy, to name a few. He was the first performer to make a comedy album and Mort Sahl was the first non-musician to win a Grammy. He was the subject of a ninety-minute PBS American Masters Biography; which placed him in the elite company of Neil Simon, Louis Armstrong, and Danny Kaye. Mort also hosted the Academy Awards and hosted the 1st Playboy Jazz Festival; performing for 68,000 paid attendees and has appeared on Broadway (5) times. He has been under contract at every major television network and was the first to pioneer live comedy on college campuses; logging some 500 venues in two years.
As a writer, Mort is credited with 18 screenplays. He is also in demand as a political scribe; writing numerous speeches for former Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and most recently working on the campaigns of Bill Bradley and George W. Bush.
Cornered at a recent political fund-raiser, people kept asking Mort to check out the Democrats by saying, ‘Gephart, he’s just like Kennedy,’ ‘Gore, he’s just like Kennedy,’ Finally in exasperation Mort turned to a waiter and asked, ‘Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who isn’t like Kennedy?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, Ted Kennedy.”
Not surprisingly, his autobiography, Heartland, was a worldwide bestseller.
Today, Mort is just as funny and active as ever. He recently sold out Harvard’s famed Hasty Pudding Theater. In fact, Mort holds attendance records at every major venue he’s worked.
While some so-called political satirists scratch the surface in an attempt to escape the truth, Mort’s style is to confront the awful truth and make it funny.
Consistently sold out theaters and private events confirm Mort’s approach is right on target.