During the 1964 presidential campaign, for example, Mr. Allen portrayed the ultraconservative Republican candidate Barry Goldwater — although he made no attempt to sound like him, and began the interview with “Hello dere!” — and said he was confident of winning “all 13 states.”
Within a few years after teaming up in the late 1950s, Allen and Rossi had become a familiar presence in the nation’s top nightclubs and on television variety shows.
In two of their many appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” — Mr. Allen liked to say that they had been on the show more times than Ed Sullivan himself — Allen and Rossi had the unenviable task of following the Beatles. They won over an audience dominated by screaming teenage girls both times.
On the first occasion, in February 1964, Mr. Allen performed a frenetic dance wearing a Beatle wig; on the second, in September 1965, he ran up and down the aisles while Mr. Rossi sang “She Loves You” (its lyrics amended to “We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah” and addressed to the audience).
Marty Allen was born Morton Alpern in Pittsburgh on March 23, 1922, the son of Louis and Elsie Alpern. He studied journalism at the University of Southern California but soon decided that he was better qualified to be a performer than a reporter.
He began his show business career as a comedian in Pittsburgh nightclubs before joining the Army Air Forces and serving in Italy. He resumed it after being discharged in 1947.
He briefly teamed with his fellow comedian Mitch DeWood, who would go on to become entertainment director of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. When Mr. Allen and Mr. DeWood broke up, Nat King Cole, for whom they had opened, suggested that Mr. Allen work with Mr. Rossi, who had been in residence at the Sands Hotel.
Entertainment reporters sometimes referred to Allen and Rossi as the successors to another singer-comedian team, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, who after almost a decade of worldwide stardom had broken up in 1956. The comparisons became more frequent when the team signed with Paramount Pictures, Martin and Lewis’s old studio. But those comparisons abruptly ended with the release in 1966 of the spy spoof “The Last of the Secret Agents?” It was the team’s first movie; it was also the team’s last.
The reviews were devastating. Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that Allen and Rossi were “lacking in both wit and vitality” and dismissed the film as a “vehicle made of plywood and cheesecloth.” Audiences stayed away. Destined not to be movie stars, Allen and Rossi stayed together for a while but broke up — amicably, they both insisted — in 1968.
Mr. Rossi went on to work with a succession of partners, while Mr. Allen found new life as a frequent guest on game shows like “The Hollywood Squares” and “Password” and as an occasional movie and television actor, in dramas as well as comedies.
Allen and Rossi reunited in 1983 and, seven years later, signed what was characterized in the news media as a lifetime contract with the Vegas World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, guaranteeing them $6,000 a week (a little over $15,000 in today’s money) for 30 weeks a year. Four years after that, however, their contract was abruptly terminated; a year later, Allen and Rossi broke up for good.
Mr. Rossi died at 82 in 2014.
Mr. Allen’s wife, the singer Karon Kate Blackwell, had become part of his act by the time he and Mr. Rossi got back together, and the act was briefly a trio. After he and Mr. Rossi once again split, Mr. Allen and Ms. Blackwell continued performing together. (He described the team as “the new George Burns and Gracie Allen, only I’m Gracie.”) She survives him.
Mr. Allen’s first wife, Lorraine Allen, died in 1976.
Mr. Allen continued to perform with Ms. Blackwell into his 90s, including two nights at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan in 2016. “Ninety-four years old, and I’ve still got it!” he said at a performance that year in Mill Valley, Calif. “But nobody wants it.”
He maintained a grueling performance schedule almost to the end, and prided himself on staying in good enough shape to handle it.
“I work out every day,” he told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2009. “Just yesterday I was on the treadmill for an hour. Then some idiot turned it on.”
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