According to his publicist, Glenn Schwartz, Berman died early Friday morning at his home in Bell Canyon, Calif.
Along with Bob Newhart and Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman helped change the tone and tenor of American humor.
As he is put on hold or asked stupid questions by the store operator, Berman's facial expressions convey urgency, anxiety and anger to hilarious effect.
AP He later joined the Compass Players, an influential improv troupe, along with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
Berman first got the idea that comedy could be more than a string of one-liners in 1957 watching satirist Mort Sahl at the Chicago club Mister Kelly's.
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