Friday, January 02, 2009

Larry Gelbart is alive and still hilarious

In the blog alt.obituaries recently it claimed that the Mozart of comedy writers, Larry Gelbart had suffered a major stroke and was hovering near death. The article went on to say big stars such as Alan Alda and Woody Allen had called the hospital desperate for information.

Happy to report this is all bullshit. Larry Gelbart is alive and well.

He learned of this rumor like everybody else – from the internet. "I got a Google alert: 'This is to inform you that you're apparently no longer with us.' "

Larry emailed the site to say, "Does that mean I can stop exercising?"

A typical screenwriter, Larry was annoyed that he didn’t even get top billing for his own obit. "I was disappointed”, he said, “to see it takes some kind of star power to sell an obit. I didn't seem to be enough by myself."

Apparently this isn’t the first time his demise has been greatly exaggerated. Gelbart says that a couple of years ago a similarly unfounded report of his passing made it onto the radio. "I don't know how any of this gets reported. I guess there's life after life after death."

May Larry Gelbart live long enough that when he finally does go it’s reported via technology that hasn't even been invented today.

13 comments :

Callaghan said...

One of my heroes. Glad to hear he's okay.

A. Buck Short said...

This is why I always try to return phone calls.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I've been going through this same nonsense for 40 years, ever since that copycat Bankhead woman popped off. "Aren't you dead?" people ask me to my face.

"Darling," I ask them, "You're speaking to me, face to whatever organ your face is in front of. Why would you think I am dead?"

"Well the smell for one thing." is the usual reply.

Of course, Bela Lugosi had the reverse problem. He could never convince people he was really dead, even when he was. "Bela's dead? Oh sure. Pull the other one."

Not that there's anything wrong with being dead. Some of my best friends are dead. But I wouldn't want my sister, if I had one, to marry a corpse, though Anna Nicol Smith tried it and it turned out okay for her. After all, necrophiliacs need love too.

As for Larry Gelbart, there's an easy way to tell if he's dead that any sensible person could try for themself. Just listen. If Larry were dead, there'd be a lot less laughter.

Cheers darlings.

J.J. said...

Larry Gelbert must be friends with Charlie Rose:

Charlie Rose Declares Friend Dead

Rose has been reporting all kinds of deaths lately.

rob! said...

God himself is a M*A*S*H fan, so He'll probably give Larry a pass on the whole Death thing.

Nathan said...

This, of course, prompts a shout out to the perrenially not quite dead Abe Vigoda.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a very good MASH episode where it is reported that Hawkeye died in action. Obvious false, it gets back to his parents state-side. I remember it being a very good episode.

Anonymous said...

Since we're waxing on about Mr. Gelbart, I have one great story to share. I saw Larry speak at some WGA event many years ago. He walked on to the stage to a huge round of applause, clipped his microphone to his tie and booming feedback came out of the speakers. Without taking a breath, Mr. Gelbart replied... "This is the loudest tie I own."

Michael Green said...

The first thing I thought of in reading this story was "The Late Captain Pierce," the episode where Hawkeye was reported dead. The writers were Glen and Les Charles, who went on to help create "Cheers," for which our blogmeister wrote, too. Since the episode was in the fourth season, that means Larry Gelbart was still involved in the show, so he probably thought of it, too!

Kirk Jusko said...

This is from BLAME IT ON RIO (1984). A teenage girl has just found out her best friend is in love with her father. She confronts her father.

Daughter: She's in love with you.

Father: She just thinks she's in love.

Daughter: If you THINK you're in love, then you ARE in love!

I know that's from an obscure movie, and Demi Moore completely screws up the timing, but Larry Gelbert wrote the line, I found it funny, and I felt it should be preserved for posterity.

This is the closest posterity I can find at the moment.

Argi said...

Nice Blog ;-)

Just a friend !!!

Buttermilk Sky said...

"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," said an earlier Great American Humorist. Delighted to hear they are just as wrong in this case. Long live Larry!

The Crutnacker said...

One of our greatest national treasures!