Chris Rush

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Chris Rush
Birth nameChristopher John Mistretta
BornFebruary 11, 1946
Brooklyn, New York, United States
DiedJanuary 28, 2018(2018-01-28) (aged 71)
Forest Hills, Queens, New York, United States
MediumStand-up, television, radio, literature
Years active1970 – 2018
GenresObservational humor, satire, black comedy
Subject(s)Drug use, religion, everyday life, politics, quantum physics, outer space
Michele Shoshanna April
(m. 1968; div. 1978)
Partner(s)Megan De Caro

Chris Rush (born Christopher John Mistretta February 11, 1946 - January 28, 2018) was an American comedian, writer, actor, radio personality and author. He is best known for his stand-up routines and albums, along with having been a writer and editor on the satirical publication National Lampoon magazine.[1]


Early life[edit]

Rush was born in Brooklyn, New York.[2] Rush was of Italian descent and was raised in the Roman Catholic faith.[2][3] He attended Brooklyn Technical High School[citation needed] and graduated from City College of New York in 1968 with a degree in Organic chemistry.[4] Before becoming a comedian Rush was a molecular biologist, working at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital for two years.[4] He embarked on a professional stand-up comedy career following the first time he ever performed on stage, which was an open mic night at The Gaslight Cafe, where he received a standing ovation after his performance.[5]


Comedians who influenced Rush: George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Shelley Berman and Myron Cohen

Comedians who consider Rush an influence: Adam Ferrara

Personal life[edit]

Rush was a conservationist and supporter of Greenpeace.[6] Though raised in the Catholic faith he left the church around age 12.[2] He considered himself to be a Taoist and wore the Yin and yang symbol on his shirt during his performances.[7]

Chris Rush died January 28, 2018 of complications from surgery and cancer.[8][9]


1970s and 1980s[edit]

Chris Rush wrote for National Lampoon Magazine in the early 1970s,[6] making his first appearance in the August, 1970 issue.[10] During his time at the Lampoon he was involved in another comedy magazine titled Drool, which came out with just one issue in 1972.[11] He left the magazine when he was signed to Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegun to release his first comedy album, First Rush in 1973.[12] In 1974 he once again contributed to a comedy magazine titled Harpoon.[13] Towards the later years of the 1970s; Rush, was involved with Head Magazine.[14]

Rush opened for musicians and bands including B.B. King, Meat Loaf, Talking Heads, Twisted Sister and Electric Light Orchestra while becoming a frequent performer at comedy clubs, theaters and colleges throughout the United States and Canada. He performed at such venues as The Bottom Line,[15] Caroline's, The Improv and The Comedy Store.[16] In 1979 he was awarded "Best Male Comic" by the Association of Comedy Artists.[17] He released his second album Beaming In in 1981. His performances landed him on national television with appearances on Comedy Tonight, Night Flight and Apt. 2C, a pilot for HBO starring his mentor and friend George Carlin[18]

1990s and 2000s[edit]

In the early to mid-1990s, Rush was involved in a series of shorts made for Comedy Central's show Small Doses, titled Food for Thought. It starred Patton Oswalt and Blaine Capatch as two bumbling store clerks and Chris as the manager.[19] He was asked to contribute to Tim Allen's book I'm Not Really Here, which was released in 1996.[20] He released an additional comedy album in 1997. During this time, he made sporadic stand-up comedy appearances. He worked on Bob "Wolf" Wohlfeld's show in the late 1990s on PYX 106 with The Wakin' Up with the Wolf Show, where he was a co-host. Some of his bits were put onto an album released by the show, titled Chris's Head.[21] The relationship ended though when the station decided to fire Rush on December 21, 1998, after apparently speaking to management about Wohlfeld's behavior towards him and others.[22]

On October 1, 2007, Rush released his first book, Milking the Rhino (Dangerously Funny Lists).

In April, 2009 Chris launched a one-man show titled, Bliss: An Evening of Laughter with Chris Rush, which was financed by George Carlin.[23][24]


Year Album Label
1973 First Rush Atlantic Records
1981 Beaming In City Sounds
1997 There's No Bones in Ice Cream Sundazed Music



In addition to being a co-host on PYX 106, Rush was a frequent guest on The Joey Reynolds Show,[30][31] The Morning Zoo on WMMR, Esoterica with Johnny Rizzo on WPKN, where he contributed a monthly call-in segment discussing recent events,[32] Dr. Demento, who will sometimes play Chris' comedy routines[33] and he's also appeared on Opie and Anthony.[34]


  1. ^ a b c "Lampooner in town". Lexington Herald-Leader. October 29, 2004. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c clip on YouTube
  3. ^ Second clip on YouTube
  4. ^ a b Righi, Len (May 10, 1991). "Microscope guy' is standing up to scrutiny". The Morning Call. p. D.02.
  5. ^ Natural Humor Medicine: Chris Rush Archived November 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Solimine, Donna (July 25, 1997). "Spirituality with a smile". The Record. p. 31.
  7. ^ "Chris Rush (chrisrushcomedy) on Myspace". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "National Lampoon Issue #5 - Paranoia". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Real, Sir. "Drool #1". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Archived December 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "HARPOON, September 1974". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  14. ^ "Six Issues of Head Magazine from 1976-1978 by Charlotte Faye Greenberg, Mike Colasuonno Chris Rush, Alan on Caliban Books". Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "Welcome To The Bottom Line Nightclub". Archived from the original on August 6, 2002. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  16. ^ "New York Comedian Rush A Pearl". The News Journal. September 19, 1987. p. 2E.
  17. ^ "'Ribald' N.Y. comic set for Monday night". Eugene Register-Guard. November 8, 1984. p. 2D.
  18. ^ "Comedic Anniversary". The Post-Standard. June 23, 1989.
  19. ^ Third Clip on YouTube
  20. ^ Allen, Tim (November 18, 1996). "I'm Not Really Here". Hyperion. Retrieved July 19, 2016 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "Chris's Head CD". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  22. ^ McGuire, Mark (April 7, 1999). "Wolf loses yet another sidekick". The Times Union. p. D5.
  23. ^ " Bliss: An Evening of Laughter with Chris Rush".
  24. ^ Sullivan, James (2010). Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin. Da Capo Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-306-81829-9.
  25. ^ "Episode Guide for Bob McLean Show, The". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Thursday Evening Highlights". The Dispatch. January 17, 1986. p. 14.
  27. ^ "Comedians - Don Kirshner's Rock Concert". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  28. ^ Fourth clip on YouTube
  29. ^ "Patton Oswalt - No Reason to Complain". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  30. ^ "ブラックリストキャッシングの秘密/お金を借りる為の知識と注意点". Archived from the original on October 15, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  31. ^ Archived May 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "WPKN Archives:". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  33. ^ "Search Results for "Chris Rush", search type 'either', match type 'and', word type 'substring'; from 1970 to 2016, sorting newest first, playlist type(s) synd". Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  34. ^ "Rundown for Tuesday". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.

External links[edit]