Do you suppose Roger Behr is making them laugh in Judgment City right now?
Behr, one half of the popular comedy musical duo Roger and Roger in the 1970s and ’80s, and who played a stand-up comedian in the 1991 Albert Brooks film, Defending Your Life, died on Monday. He was 70.
Born Jan. 14, 1948, Behr made his first name with fellow Roger, Roger Peltz, as Roger and Roger. You’d most often find them either bringing down the house in the Main Room of The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, or opening up for acts such as Diana Ross or Tony Orlando in one of the few big Las Vegas resorts at that time.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Roger and Roger also made multiple TV appearances, and you could see them on The Mike Douglas Show, The Hollywood Squares or Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, where they showed off their musical impression skills.
As years passed, Behr’s arsenal of musical impressions grew to include Axl Rose, Garth Brooks, George Michael and dozens more.
“I do vocal impressions, but the basic concept is to combine music and comedy in that all my music is geared with punchlines,” he said a couple of decades ago. “I may do an R.E.M. think which is obviously for a younger audience, but for an older audience who doesn’t know who R.E.M. is, I still have a punchline which they can understand and enjoy. It’s contemporary comedy on contemporary music.”
After splitting up in 1987, Behr’s solo career found him playing the comedy club manager in one of Rodney Dangerfield’s TV specials. He also stayed true to form, playing the stand-up comedian in Judgment City’s club in Defending Your Life.
He also got plenty of voiceover work, most notably for all ages as the voice of Mac Tonight in McDonald’s ads, and for kids in the 1980s, for two of the supporting car-bots in the hit animated series Transformers.
Behr was still performing up until recently, and was healthy enough earlier this year to attend the memorial for The Comedy Store’s late legendary owner, Mitzi Shore.
Now he has joined her in wherever we go after Judgment City. Rest in peace, Roger.