TV comedy writer Jack Elinson, whose career stretched over 50 years, died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica. He was 89. His numerous credits as writer during the 1950s included the series All-Star Revue, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Duke, The Jimmy Durante Show, Hey, Jeannie!, The Johnny Carson Show, and The Real McCoys. During the 1960s, The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy), The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (producer), Run, Buddy, Run (producer), and That Girl (producer).
He wrote and served as producer on many series in the ’70s, such as Good Times (producer), and One Day at Time (executive producer), as well as The Doris Day Show (producer), Arnie and the animated sitcom Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. During the ’80s, his work included The Facts of Life (executive producer) and 227, the Marla Gibbs-starring comedy series which Elinson developed (created by C.J. Banks and Bill Boulware, based on the play by Christine Houston) and executive produced for several seasons. <!–more–>
The New York City native launched his comedy writing career penning jokes for Walter Winchell’s newspaper column. Radio stints quickly followed, then Elinson segued to TV as a gag writer during its early years and joined the writing writing team for The Colgate Comedy Hour. That lead to creating sketches The Ed Wynn Show, The Jimmy Durante Show, The Garry Moore Show, and even the original Johnny Carson Show,long before Carson became the legendary host of The Tonight Show. His first wife Katie preceded him in death. He is survived by his second wife Estelle, seven children and a dozen grandchildren. Monday’s memorial was private.