Comedy writer Larry Gelbart passed away from cancer this past friday at his home in Beverly Hills. Gelbart wrote for film, television and theater, but was perhaps best known for his work on the sitcom MASH. For today’s LA Times, Alan Alda has written a remembrance of his former co-worker and friend.
Larry Gelbart could take an event where sentimentality was allowed, even expected, and turn it on its ear. My friend Allan Katz, who also wrote for “MASH,” was with him once at a friend’s funeral. When Larry realized he had to leave early, he leaned over to Allan and said simply, “I’m sorry to grieve and run.”
I’m sure he meant no disrespect, or maybe just the right dose of it, depending on the life and times of the recently departed. Mostly, though, I think he was showing disrespect for death itself.
Larry didn’t like death. It was an inexcusable interruption in an otherwise pleasant conversation.
Read the piece in it’s entirety here.