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The Poet Laureate of TV

Published: 10/2/2012
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Nipsey Russell (AP Photo)

Nipsey Russell wasn't called the "poet laureate of television" for nothing. The frequent game show panelist and celebrity roaster truly had a way with rhymes.

We loved him for his poetry, but his prose made us laugh just as hard – as when he roasted fellow comedian Lucille Ball.

And we loved watching him creak and squeak, sing and dance as the Tin Man in The Wiz.

Russell was a fixture of television, appearing all over – as a guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, as a regular on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, as a policeman on Car 54, Where Are You?, on game shows like To Tell the Truth and Pyramid, What's My Line? and Match Game. Seven years after his death, we miss Russell's rhymes – and we miss him, too.

Written by Linnea Crowther

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