Mason's Borscht Belt style of comedy "was punchy, down-to-earth and emphatically Jewish," William Grimes writes in Mason's New York Times obituary. An ordained rabbi, Mason quit to do comedy after three years because, he says, "somebody in the family had to make a living." Mason became nationally famous in the early 1960s, appearing on shows like The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1964, he allegedly flipped off Ed Sullivan during a televised misunderstanding, which led to Sullivan canceling his future bookings and Mason suing and winning. In 1989, Mason and Lynn Redgrave starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom Chicken Soup about an interfaith relationship between a middle-aged Jewish man and an Irish Catholic woman. Mason was a regular on The Simpsons, playing Rabbi Hyman Krustofski over 11 episodes over 18 years, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over performance. He also played himself on a 2007 episode of 30 Rock. He also won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Program for the TV special based on his one-man stage show The World According to Me. In 2005, Comedy Central ranked Mason as the No. 63 greatest standup of all time.