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Wednesday, November 4, 1998 Published at 14:18 GMT


Variety Club pays tribute to US comic

Jackie Mason (left) meets a London cab driver

American comic Jackie Mason has been honoured at a celebrity-packed tribute lunch hosted by the Variety Club of Great Britain.

The former Rabbi was presented with a Variety Club Silver Heart in recognition of his contribution to showbusiness.

Mason said: "I am thrilled and delighted. It's a great recognition of whatever I have achieved.

"I think I deserve it. It is about time. I would like to say that the Variety Club is the greatest thing that ever lived but I don't know anything about it. I haven't got a clue."

Mason struggled to make the big-time until the 1980s. But he got a break on the Ed Sullivan Show. Then a one-man Broadway show and a record-breaking run propelled him to stardom.

Now, in his 60s, he is acclaimed as one of the top US comedians.

[ image: Vanessa Feltz: Among the guests]
Vanessa Feltz: Among the guests
Stars including Bruce Forsyth, Larry Adler, Esther Rantzen, Des Lynam, Vanessa Feltz and David Soul were among those attending the event at London's Dorchester Hotel.

Renowned for his fast-talking monologues, Mason's act is peppered with a string of one-liners and his observations on life and politics.

The comic, who has won a string of US awards including a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy, is in Britain to start a pre-Broadway run of his show Much Ado About Everything, which opens at the Playhouse Theatre in London on 9 November.

The performance features frequent references to the current state of the world with Viagra, Clinton and Lewinsky, celebrity divorces and Titanic all getting mentions.

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