Friday, 11 September 2009

Larry Gelbart R.I.P.

Legendary comedy writer and screenwriter Larry Gelbart passed away today at the age of 81. He is best known for the classic sitcom MASH and movies like Tootsie, but he started out as a young gag writer for many big name comedians of the late 1940s and 1950s.

One story I read involved him being hired to work for Bob Hope, the very next morning he was told to pack a parka, they were doing a tour of US Air Force weather stations in Alaska. Then a tour of American bases all over the world, writing jokes with his typewriter perched on a crate in the back of a cargo plane, or in a truck, or in the back of a jeep.

That's a hell of a preparation for a career in comedy.

And that started a career of unprecedented longevity and variety that any writer would be bitterly jealous of.

He will be missed.

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