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Old 03-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Cool At 82, comedian Jerry Stiller is still happily 'hanging around'

What's Jerry Stiller up to these days? According to him, he's just "hangin' around."

That's what the 82-year-old comedian says when he mentions his age. That's what he says when he credits his wife and fellow comedy legend, Anne Meara, for sharing in what he calls his greatest career accomplishment, sticking with each other, on and off stage. That's also his sentiment when he's asked about his next goal.

"You never know what's going to happen next," says Stiller, reflecting on his career. "I never diagrammed my life. Anne and I never had a plan."

And why shouldn't he just live in the moment? Following the success of Stiller & Meara, he endured a career lull in the '80s but rallied with a classic Hollywood comeback, rocking memorable stints as Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld," Arthur Spooner on "The King of Queens" and various characters in projects starring his children, actors Ben and Amy Stiller.

Jerry Stiller's next public hangout will be in the Hudson Valley on Saturday, when he'll headline a Tarrytown Music Hall show with fellow comedy vets Dick Gregory and Irwin Corey.

"I've only seen them do their shows," he says. "This is the first time we've happened to be on the same bill. I saw Dick working with Mort Sahl out in L.A., and I saw him at the Playboy Club when he just broke through. ... I've been at events when (Corey) has cajoled the audience into doing things they never dreamed of."

But Westchester is nothing new to the native New Yorker, who performed Summerstock in Yonkers early in his career. "Westchester, it has a history. I lived in the Bronx, just below the (border) line. It's a different country, Westchester," he says with a gentle laugh.

Growing up in New York City's Lower East Side during the Depression, Stiller wasn't wealthy, but his cab-driving father found ways to take him to vaudeville shows. The younger Stiller was inspired by the comedy routines, as well as radio stars Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen and Jack Benny, and cinematic comedies that included the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup."
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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I love his comedy skits with wife Anne Meara and his role as Arthur Spooner on King of Queens. Very funny fellow.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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I loved Jerry on "Seinfeld" and "The King of Queens" and hope that he's around for a long time to come. He's naturally funny unlike most of the "comedians" today.
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