The comedian and character actor, Avery Schreiber, known for his standup comedy with Jack Burns in the 1970s, and for acting in plays and musicals, including Cy Coleman's Welcome to the Club in 1989, died of a heart attack Jan. 7, according to wire services. Mr. Schreiber, who sported bushy black hair and a thick mustache, was 66 and may have been most widely known as a Dorito's corn chip pitchman, appearing as a number of characters who were undone by the crunching sound of the snack food.
As one half of Burns and Schreiber, he was daffy sidekick to Burns' straight man on variety programs, including their own. On Broadway, he directed the musical revue, How To Be a Jewish Mother starring Molly Picon in 1967, and acted in the play-with-music Ovid's Metamorphoses, conceived and directed by Paul Sills, in 1971, Dreyfus in Rehearsal in 1974, a revival of the Cole Porter musical, Can-Can, directed by Abe Burrows, in 1981 and in the Cy Coleman musical about alimony jail, Welcome to the Club. Mr. Schreiber was born in Chicago and was one of the famous alumni of The Second City, working in the second company for five years, with Del Close. He trained with improv and theatre-games legend Viola Spolin and worked with Sills at The Second City, and in the Spolin Players and in several productions of Sills' Story Theatre. He had been an improvization teacher for many years.
Mr. Schreiber was artistic director of The Jupiter Theatre in Florida (where he also acted) for five seasons. His wife of 35 years survives him. He was a resident of Van Nuys, CA. His personal quote on his internet screen-name profile reads as follows: "If you must lay an egg make sure it's brightly colored and fresh, for Gods sake, FRESH!"