Norm Crosby

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Norm Crosby
Norm Crosby 1965
Crosby in 1965
Norman Lawrence Crosby[1]

(1927-09-15)September 15, 1927
DiedNovember 7, 2020(2020-11-07) (aged 93)
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery
Joan Crane Foley
(m. 1966)

Norman Lawrence Crosby (September 15, 1927 – November 7, 2020) was an American comedian born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was often referred to as "The Master of Malaprop".


Crosby went solo as a stand-up comedian, adopting a friendly, blue collar, guy-next-door persona in the 1950s. Crosby refined his standup monologues by interpolating malapropisms. He first appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in December 1964. In late-1968, he co-starred on The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show, an NBC twelve-week series.[2]

In 1974, he co-hosted a Canadian variety television series, Everything Goes.[3] From 1974 through 1984 he was on over half a dozen Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts including one of George Burns and two separate ones of Redd Foxx. From 1978 through 1981, he hosted a nationally syndicated series, The Comedy Shop, in which a mix of up-and-coming stand-up comics and vaudeville legends presented their material.[4]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Crosby became a commercial pitchman for Anheuser-Busch Natural Light beer. During this time, he also appeared as a celebrity guest on a number of game shows, including Celebrity Bowling, Liar's Club, Tattletales, and Hollywood Squares.

From 1983 until the program's dissociation from Jerry Lewis in 2010, Crosby co-hosted and contributed to the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6560 Hollywood Boulevard.[5]

He appeared in two films with Adam SandlerEight Crazy Nights (2002).[1], and Grown Ups 2 (2013)

Personal life and death[edit]

Crosby was born to a Jewish family[6] and was raised in Dorchester, Boston,[7] the son of Ann (née Lansky) and John Crosby.[1]

During World War II, he served aboard a Coast Guard submarine chaser in the North Atlantic. He suffered permanent damage of his hearing from a concussion he received from the depth charges that exploded while he was on anti-submarine patrol. He did not notice hearing problems until long after he had returned home and wore a hearing aid onstage.[8]

In 1966, Crosby married Joan Crane Foley. They had two children. He became a Freemason in 1956, and served as Master of at least one lodge and participated in many charitable activities. He was a member of Ionic Composite Lodge #520 in Los Angeles, California.[9][10]

On November 7, 2020, Crosby died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 93.[11]


  1. ^ a b Profile,; accessed April 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "Barbara Feldon Guest on Phyllis Diller Show". Schenectady Gazette. October 5, 1968. p. TV 8. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "From the Music Capitals of the World". Billboard. March 9, 1974. p. 54. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  4. ^ The Comedy Shop videos at MeTV
  5. ^ "Norm Crosby". Hollywood Walk of Fame. October 25, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  6. ^ Epstein, Lawrence J. (December 6, 2001). "The story of Jewish comedians". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Vennochi, Joan (April 20, 1983). "Langone Announces Entry Into Boston's Mayoral Race". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (November 8, 2020). "Norm Crosby, Comedian Who Had a (Wrong) Way With Words, Dies at 93". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Profile, (October 2007); accessed April 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Ionic Composite Lodge #520 Trestle Board Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed April 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Saperstein, Pat (November 8, 2020). "Norm Crosby, Comedian Who Was Master of Malaprops, Dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved November 8, 2020.

External links[edit]