‘The Amazing’ Carl Ballantine, Slapstick Magician, Dead At 92

He was “an inveterate quipmeister whose stand-up comedy persona, an incompetent magician known as the Amazing Ballantine or Ballantine the Great, predated and influenced the antic characters of Steve Martin and others.” He was also known as “the scheming, profiteering seaman Lester Gruber on the television series McHale’s Navy.”