Otto Petersen, the comedian behind x-rated ventriloquist act Otto & George, died yesterday while taking a nap. As of this writing, no cause of death has been revealed. Petersen was 53. A longtime, recurring guest on the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM, the announcement was made there this morning.
“I am heartbroken to hear @OttoAndGeorge has died. He was so brilliantly funny. I really loved him,” comedian Jim Norton, co-host on the Opie and Anthony Show tweeted earlier today. “Otto was a fearless funny bastard,” comedian Colin Quinn added on Twitter. In May of 2013, Peteresen contracted bacterial meningitis and was placed in a medically-induced coma for about a week, though it’s unclear if his death had anything to do with that. The audio of the announcement is below.
The Staten Island native began as a street act with his dummy George Dudley in New York City in the early 70s before moving the ventriloquism into night clubs where his show evolved into the x-rated show that launched his his career. Petersen has since appeared with George on Late Show with David Letterman, The Aristocrats, I’m No Dummy, and The Playboy Channel. A few years ago he completed a season of his web series The Pig Roast with Otto & George.
We’ll be adding to this post as we get more information about Petersen’s death. For now, please keep his friends and family in your thoughts and check out a few videos below.