Shelley Berman
Shelley Berman Skitch
Veteran comedian/actor Shelley Berman appeared as Skitch, Arthur's half-brother in two episodes.
Vital statistics
Born: February 3, 1925
Birthplace Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: September 1, 2017(2017-09-01) (aged 92)
Deathplace: Bell Canyon, California, U.S.
Occupation Comedian, actor, writer, teacher, lecturer, poet
Years active 1954–2014
Family and Personal
Spouse(s): Sarah Herman, 1947-2017, his death
Character information
Appeared on: The King of Queens
Appears as: Skitch Spooner, Arthur's brother

Sheldon "Shelley" Berman (born February 3, 1925–died September 1, 2017)[1] appeared in two episodes as "Skitch Spooner", Arthur's half-brother, in the episodes "Shrink Wrap" (Season 4, episode #25, 2002) and "Queens'bro Bridge" (Season 5, episode #22, 2003).

Early life and careerEdit

Born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Irene (née Marks) and Nathan Berman, Shelley started as a straight actor, receiving his training at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, honing his acting skills in stock companies in and around Chicago and New York. In the mid-1950s, he became a member of Chicago's Compass Players, which later evolved into The Second City. While performing improvised sketches with Compass, Berman began developing solo pieces, often employing an imaginary telephone to take the place of an onstage partner.

In 1957, Berman landed his first job as a comedian at Mister Kelly's in Chicago, which led to other nightclub bookings, and a recording contract with Verve Records. His comedy albums would earn him three gold records and he'd win the first Grammy Award for a non-musical recording. He was the first standup comedian to play Carnegie Hall. Berman would go on to appear on numerous TV specials, and all of the major variety shows of the day.

Stage and TV appearancesEdit

Shelley's success as a comedian enabled him to continue with his first love - acting. He starred on Broadway in A Family Affair and continued to do stage work in productions of The Odd Couple, Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof, I'm Not Rappaport, La Cage aux Folles, and Guys and Dolls, among many others. Comedic and dramatic acting roles on television began to come his way, including appearances on episodes of The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, Peter Gunn, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Adam-12, Emergency!, Night Court, MacGyver, L.A. Law, Friends, Walker, Texas Ranger, Grey's Anatomy, Hannah Montana, CSI: NY, and Boston Legal. Since 2002, Berman has appeared as Larry David's father on Curb Your Enthusiasm, a role for which he received a 2008 Emmy Award nomination.


Among Berman's film credits are The Best Man (with Henry Fonda), Divorce American Style (with Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds), Every Home Should Have One (with Marty Feldman), The Last Producer (with Burt Reynolds), Meet the Fockers (with Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller), The Holiday (with Cameron Diaz), and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (with Adam Sandler).

Personal life Edit

Shelley married the former Sarah Herman on April 19, 1947. The two met while they were studying acting at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.[2] In the mid-1960s, Berman and wife Sarah adopted two children, son Joshua and daughter Rachel.[3] The Bermans were planning Joshua's bar mitzvah when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Joshua died October 29, 1977, age 12.

Berman has authored three books, two plays, several TV pilot scripts, and numerous poems. For over twenty years, Berman taught humor writing in the Master of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California, where he was a Lecturer Emeritus.


Berman died from Alzheimer's disease-related complications at his home in Bell Canyon, California, in the early morning of September 1, 2017.[3] He was 92 years old. His archive was donated to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY.[4]

Comedian Steve Martin praised Berman on Twitter, thanking him for "changing modern stand-up [comedy]".[5]


  1. Shelley Berman, Famed 'Sit-Down' Comedian, Dies at 92 (September 1, 2017). Retrieved on September 1, 2017.
  2. Shelley Berman, comedian-bard of everyday life, has died. The Washington Post (September 1, 2017). Retrieved on September 1, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Keepnews, Peter (September 1, 2017). Shelley Berman, Stand-Up Comic Who Skewered Modern Life, Dies at 92. The New York Times. Retrieved on September 1, 2017.
  4. "National Comedy Center Acquires Archive Comedian Shelley Berman", February 1, 2018. Retrieved on February 1, 2018. 
  5. Steve Martin on Twitter. Twitter (September 1, 2017). Retrieved on September 1, 2017.

External linksEdit

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