Saturday, June 11, 2011

Leonard Stern (1922–2011)

From an appropriately clever New York Times obituary:

Leonard B. Stern, an Emmy-winning writer, producer and director for television whose frantic search for an adjective one day led him and a colleague to create Mad Libs, the game that asks players to fill in blanks with designated parts of speech to yield comically ________[adj.] stories, died on Tuesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 88.
Among his other accomplishments, Leonard Stern co-wrote seventeen of the thirty-nine “classic” episodes of The Honeymooners.

On Thursday, Ben had Elaine and me fill in a Mad Lib he had made for his co-workers. He recorded our answers on a napkin during lunch. We didn’t know then that Mr. Stern had died. His Mad Libs lives on.

[“Classic”: the 1955–1956 episodes shown for years on WPIX in New York City.]

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