Richard Libertini was born in E. Cambridge, Massachusetts, to parents who had come to America from southern Italy. Having grown up in a household where both Italian and English were spoken, he developed an ear for foreign accents. A facility he would later use to advantage on stage and in films. He graduated from Emerson College in Boston, and for a while earned a living as a trumpet player in the Boston area. Later, he moved to New York, where he teamed up with two former college classmates, MacIntyre Dixon and Lynda Segal, to create an off-Broadway revue called Stewed Prunes. (This was during the coffee house revolution in the 1960s. Bob Dylan was playing around the corner.) The show was quite successful and after running a year in New York they took it on the road. While playing Chicago, he was asked to join the renowned Second City Improvisational Theatre Group, an association which continues to the present. After a number of years doing stage work in New York (Woody Allens Dont Drink the Water (1969) and Paul Sills Story Theatre (1971) among many others) he eventually moved to L.A.