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Subject: Archive: Sam Kinison, Apr. 10, 1992

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Date Posted: Monday, April 10, 04:13:22pm

Sam Kinison, a former tent preacher who gained fame as a shrieking and often insulting stand-up comedian, was killed Friday night in a head-on automobile crash on a desert highway near Needles, Calif.

He was 38 years old and lived in the Hollywood hills in Los Angeles.

Mr. Kinison's high-decibel routines became popular on the comedy-club circuit and won him film and television appearances. But his bitter jokes also provoked protest from women and homosexuals who found his ridicule of them more hateful than humorous. En Route to Performance
On Friday night, he was on his way to perform at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev., when his sports car collided with a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 95 about 200 miles east of Los Angeles.

His wife, Malika, whom he married only last Sunday, was injured in the crash and was taken to Needles Desert Community Hospital in serious condition.

The California Highway Patrol said yesterday that it did not yet have a formal report but did not dispute the account by Mr. Kinison's spokeswoman, Florence Troutman, who said that Mr. Kinison's brother and manager, Bill, had been following in a van. She quoted him as saying that the accident occurred when the oncoming pickup tried to pass another vehicle and that the accident littered the road with beer cans that did not come from Mr. Kinison's car.

The pickup's driver was 17 years old and was under arrest for vehicular manslaughter, the authorities told The Associated Press.

Evangelical Roots

Mr. Kinison was born in Peoria, Ill., into a family of traveling evangelists, in whose footsteps he initially followed. But after a few years he moved to Los Angeles and developed his comedy act.

He often appeared on stage in a beret, with an overcoat draped over his pudgy build. But his real trademark was his screaming outbursts. Critics described him as snarling, sneering, rude, outrageous and even poisonous. But offstage, Ms. Troutman said, he was "a big-hearted teddy bear."
A role as a high-strung professor in the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield film "Back to School" led to his own television special, "Breaking the Rules," on Home Box Office. He was also a guest on "Late Night with David Letterman" and "Saturday Night Live."

This season he starred on Fox in the situation comedy "Charlie Hoover." His music video, "Wild Thing," featured Jessica Hahn, the woman who brought down the television evangelist Jim Bakker in a sex scandal.

Mr. Kinison had acknowledged health problems because of drug and alcohol abuse and being overweight but said two years ago that he had quit drugs and was dieting.

He was previously married and divorced twice. Besides his wife and his brother Bill, he is survived by his mother, Marie, and a brother, Richard, both of Tulsa, Okla.

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Subject Author Date
Gone 25 years! (NT)!Monday, April 10, 04:13:49pm
Wow, do I remember it like it was yesterday. -Touching VIDEO of his brother's (he was there) recollections of Kinison's death. ...Personally, I saw him at the Comedy Store nightclub LIVE a couple years before -wasn't his best set.Monday, April 10, 04:45:36pm
One of a handful of name-comedians I've seen live. In the late-80's... (NT)In Pgh. I recall he was quite late; but very, very good.Monday, April 10, 05:50:58pm
I recall the guy who ran head-on into his car walked away with no injuries... (NT)and bitching because his car was ruined.Monday, April 10, 06:12:04pm
Sam's brother Bill owns the local theater, here in Upland. Nice guy. Did a one man show a couple years ago called The Gospel According to Kinison, about his family. (NT)NikTuesday, April 11, 04:28:46am

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