Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Memoriam - Larry Gelbart

Larry Gelbart creator of "M*A*S*H", "Tootsie", and "Oh, God!", died on Friday of cancer. I loved M*A*S*H, and don't think I missed an episode during it's eleven year run.
"I said once that the only way before 'M*A*S*H' you would get any feeling out of your television set is if you touched it while you were wet," Gelbart said.

He added: "We gave the audience permission to feel bad. Because America was feeling pretty rotten then, we were at war in Vietnam. And once the war stopped we didn't start feeling really terrific right away, if we ever will again about that situation."
The Los Angeles Times looks back on Gelbart's amazing career.
Larry Gelbart, the award-winning comedy writer best known for developing the landmark TV series "MASH," co-writing the book for the hit Broadway musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and co-writing the classic movie comedy "Tootsie," died Friday morning. He was 81.

Gelbart, who was diagnosed with cancer in June, died at his home in Beverly Hills, said his wife, Pat.

Jack Lemmon once described the genial, quick-witted Gelbart as "one of the greatest writers of comedy to have graced the arts in this century."

"Larry Gelbart was among the very best comedy writers ever produced in America," said Mel Brooks, whose friendship with Gelbart dated to when they both wrote for Sid Caesar's comedy-variety show "Caesar's Hour" in the 1950s. Gelbart "had class, he had wit, he had style and grace. He was a marvelous writer who could do more with words than anybody I ever met," Brooks said.
Condolences to his family.

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