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His humor was and remains based on current events, particularly politics, drawing many of his monologues from the day's newspaper headlines. His trademark gimmick was appearing on stage with a newspaper in hand, casually dressed in a pullover sweater.
During the 1980s, Mort Sahl made many hard hitting jokes critical about his old friend President Ronald Reagan. Mort and China were then invited to visit the White House by Nancy Reagan, where Reagan then awarded and roasted Mort at a White House Gala/tribute in front of most of the other comedians. Mort told TV Interviewer Charlie Rose, "They are very, very forgiving."
Mort is listed #40 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest standups of all time.
In an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the 1970s, Sahl told Johnny this story: He said one time he was flying on Air Force One during the Kennedy years, when they hit a pocket of rough turbulence. JFK said to Mort, 'You know, if this plane crashed, we would probably all be killed, wouldn't we?' Sahl responded, 'Yes, Mr. President.' To which JFK then said, 'And it occurs to me that your name would be in very small print!'"