The Unknown Comic
With a paper grocery sack over his head, The Unknown Comic entertained audiences on stage and TV throughout the 70s. And while this author found him to be one of the most irritating performers of all time (right up there with Sam Kinison), there was a certain something that kept him on TV screens for years.
Born in Dartmouth , Nova Scotia, Canada, on June 27, 1945, Murray Langston’s life started as a tragedy. His parents were disabled and unable to care for him and his younger brothers and sisters.
He left home in 1960 at age 15 to help ease his parents’ burden. Eventually, Langston moved to the United States where he served in the Navy during the Vietnam war.
The Unknown Comic got his show business start on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, appearing as a fork, tube of toothpaste and a grandfather clock.
Redd Foxx got him a position on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour where he was a guest on over 100 episodes. You may have also seen Langston with the Hudson Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Wolfman Jack, Joan Rivers, Ruth Buzzy, and Jim Carrey. He also made regular appearances on Candid Camera with Alan Funt.
Langston became part owner of a restaurant and nightclub called SHOW-BIZ. Among waiters and waitresses were David Letterman, Debra Winger, Michael Keaton (who was still known by his given name, Michael Douglas), Freddie Prinza and Tim Reid.
Unfortunately, the club failed and Langston was broke. Trying to restart his career, Murray put the bag over his head and became known as The Unknown Comic.
Chuck Barris offer Langston a regular spot on the Gong Show where he made over 150 appearances. He was also a hit on the Vegas Strip.
It wasn’t until the early 80’s on an episode of Real People when he pulled the bag off his head and revealed that he was Murray Langston.
On a side note…
Murray’s daughter, Myah Marie became an accomplished songwriter and singer, with over 50 songs under her belt by the time she turned 19. Her music contributed material for Britney Spears.