Comedian and writer Phil Austin, best known as a member of the surrealist comedy group Firesign Theater, passed away today at his home in Washington State. He was 74. Austin, who played detective Nick Danger in the radio noir parody The Further Adventures of Nick Danger, succumbed to various forms of cancer, according to fellow Firesign Phil Proctor.
Austin was born in Denver, Colorado grew up in Fresno, California, and attended Bowdoin College and UCLA. While working at KPFK radio in Los Angeles in 1966, he met Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor. The began broadcasting a weekly radio program, Radio Free Oz, and as the Firesign Theater went on to record such classic albums as I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus and How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?
Austin is survived by his wife Oona. In keeping with his wishes, there will be no public memorial.
Here’s a sample of some of Austin’s work as Nick Danger:
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