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Louis Nye Dies at 92

Veteran TV comic Louis Nye, 92, who was featured on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000-2002, has died of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his son Peter told the AP.

As one of a bunch of top-flight second bananas to Steve Allen (others included Tom Poston and Don Knotts), Nye helped make the phrase "Hi Ho, Steverino" into a national catchphrase in the 1950s.

Like contemporaries Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner, he was a master of accents. He began in radio playing, "rotten Nazis, rich uncles, and emotional juveniles," he once told the AP.

It was the last character, a prissy wannabe playboy blissfully unaware of obvious inadequacies in the Don Juan department, that he most frequently brought to TV.

Nye had a decades-long TV career of guest roles and recurring characters on shows including Jackie Gleason and Johnny Carson, to Love Boat, and even St. Elsewhere, returning to the drama that was his first love.
His prissy playboy role was typified by his turn as Sonny Drysdale in The Beverly Hillbillies. He also brought that character, as well as the real Nye, to the game show circuit in the 1960s and '70s, when that genre was a haven for one-liners from second bananas.Nye also supplied voices to the popular animated cartoon, Inspector Gadget, which lost its starring voice and another veteran TV comic, Don Adams, only two weeks ago.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.