Rip Taylor, Colorful Confetti-Throwing Comedian, Dies at 84

Taylor was a regular on late night comedy and game shows for six decades

Rip Taylor Obit

Rip Taylor, the flamboyant confetti-throwing comedian who was the host of “The $1.98 Beauty Show,” died at his Beverly Hills home on Sunday at the age of 84, according to his publicist.

Taylor was known for his over-the-top comic delivery and his penchant for excitedly throwing confetti to celebrate a game show contestant’s victory, something he regularly did during his appearances on “Match Game,” “Hollywood Squares,” “Super Password” and “The Gong Show.” Prior to his appearances on game shows and late night shows like “The Tonight Show,” Taylor served as an opening act for stars like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Judy Garland.

But it was his appearance “The Gong Show” that earned him his biggest claim to fame. Impressed by his jokes as a judge, the show’s host and creator Chuck Barris offered Taylor a job as host of “The $1.98 Beauty Show.” Running from 1978-1980, the comedy show was a “Gong Show”-esque sendup of beauty contests that would end with Taylor bestowing the winner a bouquet of rotten vegetables and just under two dollars in coins, all while proclaiming, “You win the prize. You take the cake. You get the crown and a $1.98.”

In the ’90s, Taylor took roles in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “Indecent Proposal,” as well as a voice role as Uncle Fester in an animated TV adaptation of “The Addams Family.” In the 2000s, he had a cameo appearance at the end of each of the three “Jackass” films, celebrating the film’s conclusion with a confetti shower.

Taylor is survived by his longtime partner, Robert Fortney.