Comedian Dick Gregory Dies at 84

Legendary comedian Dick Gregory died on Saturday at the age of 84, his family has confirmed. “It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC,” his son said in a statement. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” Gregory, the first African-American comedian to perform and sit next to host Jack Paar on The Tonight Show, was hospitalized this past weekend. His civil rights and anti-war activism led to political campaigns for mayor of Chicago in 1967 and president in 1968. One of Gregory's jokes from 1961 recently made it onto Vulture's “100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy” list: “I walked into a restaurant, which was the wrong restaurant, in Mississippi … I sit down, the blonde waitress walked over to me and I said, ‘I’d like two cheeseburgers.’ She said, ‘We don’t serve colored people here,’ and I said, ‘I don’t eat colored people nowhere!’”

— Matt Wilstein