Sunday, July 21, 2013


LONDON (AP) — Actor and writer Mel Smith, a major force in British comedy whose evening news parody anticipated the hijinks of hits such as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," has died of a heart attack, his agent said Saturday. He was 60.
Smith shot to fame along with his partner-in-comedy Griff Rhys Jones in "Not the Nine O'Clock News," whose take-down of earnest BBC newscasts, talk shows, and commercials would influence a generation of comedians.

"We probably enjoyed ourselves far too much, but we had a rollercoaster of a ride along the way. Terrific business. Fantastic fun, making shows. Huge parties and crazy times," Jones said. "Mel was always ready to be supportive. Nobody could have been easier to work with."

The pair's sketch show was a watershed, laying the ground for current affairs spoofs such as the "The Day Today" and, much later, America's "Daily Show."

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