Comedian Robert Klein Isn't Retiring, But He Knows It's Time To Slow Down

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Comedian Robert Klein has a full slate of comedy gigs lined up into next year. The 82-year-old, Bronx-born entertainer has shown no outward signs of slowing down, but while he still loves doing stand-up and acting, that doesn’t mean the thought of scaling back hasn’t crossed his mind. Appearing on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program, Klein says the day to call it quits hasn’t arrived, but it is a lot closer than it once was.

“I once met Dean Martin’s family accountant years after he was gone,” Klein recounted for Berman and Riedel. “She said one day he came to her and said, ‘Do I still have to work?’ and she said no. I love it, but I just- You know my comedy is very physical; I climb pianos, I stalk the stage, and I just, um- you know, it’s very satisfying and the money’s great. I’m just tired of it, and also, you know, doing television or movies anymore. I got an offer a month ago for a cute, little feature role in something. I would have to go to Chicago for a few weeks. I just don’t want to do it anymore.”

To further drive the point home about the grind of doing shows, Klein reminisced about another legendary actor who felt the same way he does. “Live theatre is irreplaceable. You’re in the room, it’s like an old Italian deli, where they make each sandwich individually, it’s not pre-made. But, for the actors, the only person I ever heard to express this the same way was Alan Arkin. He also said that after a hundred performances, you know, it’s the same thing all the time and it’s difficult to keep your [interest].

Robert Klein will be appearing at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan on Thursday, April 18th to raise funds for the International Myeloma Foundation. The event is being hosted by Ray Romano and will honor the late comedic actor Peter Boyle, who died with myeloma in 2006 and was a friend of Klein’s. Tickets can be purchased at

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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