Ed Koch’s Persona Transcended Local Politics, Penetrated Pop Culture
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you lived in the city, you knew him.
If you lived in California, or Ohio, or North Dakota, you got to know him.
Ed Koch, the iconic three term mayor of New York City, became so identified with New York City as to become a kind of “brand ambassador” of the city to America and the world.
LISTEN: WCBS 880 Movie Critic Jeffrey Lyons On Ed Koch
Koch seemed to turn up everywhere on TV in the late 1970 and early 1980s, making appearances as himself on everything from the “Night of 100 Stars” to “Gimme A Break.” He appeared on “Saturday Night Live” four times, including once with Don King, Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy in a sketch making fun of his bald head.
Here’s Koch’s monologue on SNL in 1983, taking on President Ronald Reagan, and once again joking about being bald:
A clip of Ed Koch as the judge on “The People’s Court” is still accessible on YouTube.
In 1983, director Jimmy Picker’s Academy Award winning short film “Sundae In New York” features a claymated version of “Ed Koch” vocalizing a version of “New York, New York.”
Koch wound up appearing as himself in several movies, including “The Muppets Take Manhattan” and “The First Wives Club.”
He even made a cameo as himself on HBO’s “Sex And The City.” The mayors in “Ghostbusters” and 1989’s “Batman” bore more than a passing resemblance to Koch.
Koch passed away the same day as “Koch” – a documentary about the former mayor debuts worldwide.