Martin Mull, comedian and star of “Fernwood 2 Night,” passes away at age 80

Martin Mull, comedian and star of "Fernwood 2 Night," passes away at age 80

Martin Mull, an American comedian and actor best known for his roles in the television comedies Roseanne and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, passed away at the age of 80. Mull, who also played in the comedy Clue from 1985, passed away at home on Thursday following what his daughter Maggie Mull posted on social media as a “valiant fight against a long illness.”
Ms. Mull described her father as someone who “was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and for doing Red Roof Inn commercials” in an Instagram tribute.

She said, “He would think that joke was funny.” “He never lacked humor.”
Mull played Garth Gimble in the 1976 soap opera parody Mary Hartman, which paved the way for two further spin-off appearances, one of which was in the television series Fernwood 2 Night.
Later, he was cast as Colonel Mustard, an army officer, in the black comedy Clue, which was based on the same-titled board game.
He also started doing the voiceovers for the Red Roof Inn commercials at that same time, as his daughter noted in her tribute.
Fans of 1990s television will recognize Mull from his roles on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Roseanne, when he played Principal Willard Kraft and the boss Leon Carp, respectively.

Mull also as the helpless private investigator Gene Parmesan in the highly regarded satire series Arrested Development.
In addition to The Simpsons, Family Guy, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Golden Girls, and Two and a Half Men, he made guest appearances in many more well-known television programs.
Mull appeared in four episodes of HBO’s political comedy Veep in 2016, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Mull started his career in show business as a songwriter and gained recognition as a musical comedian. He was born in Chicago to an actress and a carpenter. Early in the 1970s, he opened for Bruce Springsteen and Frank Zappa at a number of live performances.

He also pursued painting studies, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1965.
Regarding his acting career, he stated in a 2013 interview with the A.V. Club that “every painter I know has a day job.” They are either operating a taxi or teaching art at a college.
“It was pure coincidence that I ended up with an amazing day job that pays well and makes a lot of paint,” he remarked.
He left behind his 1982-married actress and composer wife Wendy Haas, as well as his TV writer daughter Maggie.


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