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Published: Monday, 10/10/2005

Louis Nye, veteran comic, sidekick to Steve Allen, dead at 92

LOS ANGELES Comedian Louis Nye, who created a national catchphrase belting out Hi, ho, Steverino! as one of the players on Steve Allen s groundbreaking 1950s TV show, has died. He was 92.

Nye died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles after a long battle with lung cancer, his son, Peter Nye, told the Associated Press today.

Nye had worked regularly in nightclubs and on television until only a couple of years ago, his son said. He had a recurring role from 2000 to 2002 in the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm as the father of Jeff Garlin s character.

When he joined Allen s show in 1956 he was already well established as one the era s hippest comics, appearing regularly on radio, in clubs and on early TV shows.

He has a great business card from that time that lists something like 15 accents that he could do, his son recalled with a chuckle.

On The Steve Allen Show, which ran until 1961 under various names, he quickly endeared himself to audiences as Gordon Hathaway, the effete, country-club snob who would welcome Allen s arrival with the Hi, ho, Steverino! salutation.

I m not sure if he improvised that or if it was given to him and he just ran with it as a catchphrase, Nye s son said.

Other regulars on the landmark show included comedians Don Knotts, Tom Poston and Bill Dana.

After the show s run ended, Nye appeared often on TV game shows, in films and as a regular on The Ann Sothern Show. He was often cast as the second banana, never the lead.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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