Veteran comedy showrunner Alan Kirschenbaum died last night from apparent suicide. He was 51. Kirschenbaum most recently co-created and executive produced with Ajay Sahgal the upcoming midseason CBS comedy series Friend Me. I hear he recently left the show for unknown reasons. Kirschenbaum and Sahgal scored in May when their Friend Me was one of only two CBS comedy pilots to land series pickups.
Kirschenbaum, son of comedian Freddy Roman, previously co-created and executive produced with Greg Garcia the long-running CBS sitcom Yes, Dear. He also worked on Garcia’s My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope. Early in his career, he was a writer on Dear John, Baby Talk and Coach and created the Fox comedy Down The Shore. In addition to working as a TV writer-producer, Kirschenbaum was an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
Fellow comedy writer-producers and actors shared their reactions to Kirschenbaum’s passing on Twitter.
“I’m so sad to hear about the passing of Alan Kirschenbaum. He was hilarious, a joy to be around and the definitive mensch. I will miss him.” – Steve Levitan
“I knew Alan since he was 14. I wrote jokes for his dad, watched him grow up, took pride in his success. Stunned.” – Alan Zweibel
“RIP Alan Kirschenbaum A very funny, very nice guy. Never got to work together but he always made me laugh between periods at LA Kings games.” – Mike Scully
“RIP Alan. Only work with you for 10 days, but thanks so much for this wonderful job. You were a funny, great guy.” – Friend Me star Chris Mintz-Plasse
“I’m stunned and terribly hurt to hear of the tragic passing of my friend Alan Kirschenbaum. He was a sweet, funny man. So sad.” - David Krumholtz
“Deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Alan Kirschenbaum. He was someone I truly thought the world of. Sad day” – Michael Chiklis