Extraordinary Smart-Ass Comedian and TV Detective Richard Belzer Dead at 78


Richard Belzer, a cherished comic who rose to fame as the cynical but steadfast detective John Munch on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, has passed away. Belzer began his career as an edgy stand-up performer. He was 78.

Actor Belzer passed away early on Sunday at his house in Bozouls, southwest France, according to writer Bill Scheft, a close friend of the actor. He was really ill, and his last words were, “Fuck you, motherfucker,” according to Scheft.In the humorous The Groove Tube (1974), where he made his feature debut, Belzer warmed up the audience for Saturday Night Live and was famously sent to sleep by Hulk Hogan.

Munch initially appeared in 1993 on the premiere of Homicide, and his final appearance was on Law & Order: SVU in 2016. Belzer portrayed the detective on eight other television shows between those two NBC dramas, and his tenure with the role was longer than James Arness’ on Gunsmoke and Kelsey Grammer’s on Cheers and Frasier.

Munch, who was based on a real-life Baltimore detective, was undoubtedly one of the most iconic police officers in television history. He was a brilliant and tenacious investigator who held conspiracy theories, disdained the establishment, and pursued justice with a jaded eye. He frequently used dry, sarcastic jokes to illustrate his points, such as, “I’m a homicide detective. When they give me the truth, that’s the only time I wonder why,” a voice said.

Barry Levinson, the executive producer of Homicide, remembers hearing Belzer on The Howard Stern Show and liked him because of Munch in a 2016 interview on the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. “Why don’t we find out about Richard Belzer?” I said while we were looking at some other actors. said Levinson. “I enjoy the cadence of his speech. And that is how it occurred.

The emaciated Belzer played Munch throughout the show’s seven seasons on NBC. The actor wasn’t quite prepared to leave the part when it ended in 1999. He had made three appearances as Munch on NBC’s Law & Order between 1996 and 1999 and believed he may fit in well there.Wolf, however, was in the process of developing a Law & Order spinoff to focus on the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit, the division that investigates sexually based crimes. He wanted Munch for that.

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