One of the funniest men ever, period. He could make me laugh in seconds just by showing up -- on a late-afternoon TV show (Merv, Mike), in prime time (Carol Burnett, Dean Martin) or late night (Johnny Carson), or in a movie. He had memorable roles in Mel Brooks films, my favorite being the medieval Brando-Corleone in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. (He pronounces cannoli "ganool," which is the way Italian -- actually, Sicilian -- immigrants in Brooklyn pronounced it. Like all great comedians, DeLuise was an intelligent listener, with a sharp ear for accents and nuanced speech.) He was born in 1933. Had he been born 20 years later, he would have been a hit on Saturday Night Live and as big a star as Bill Murray or Will Ferrell. I'm going to cook some pasta e fagioli in his memory tonight.

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