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Pioneering observational comic Klein taking stage at Suncoast

You could argue that Robert Klein opened the door for many Las Vegas headliners to make a killing here. And yet, he’s a rare sighting in these parts.

Klein, now 71, was in the first wave of ’60s comedians who turned the corner from the Catskills school of one-liners to the more honest observational comedy that drew from a comedian’s experiences.

He came to stand-up after studying drama at Yale and working with The Second City sketch and improv troupe. In 1975, Klein steered the young pay-cable station HBO to the stand-up specials that have become synonymous with the network.

Back in 2005, Klein honored one of his fellow pioneers, Jerry Seinfeld, in a taped tribute with Chris Rock and Garry Shandling as part of the bygone Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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