Friday, September 11, 2009

Larry Gelbart 1928-2009

Larry Gelbart passed away today, after a long battle with cancer, at age 81.

There are already tributes all over the internet (M*A*S*H writer Ken Levine's blog is a good place to start), and I'm simply not equipped to convey in any coherent terms just how much Larry Gelbart's work meant to me. Without his genius, there might have still been a M*A*S*H series, but for sure it wouldn't have been the one that captured my imagination as a child, and has held it to this day.

I was overwhelmed that Mr. Gelbart actually left a comment on this blog, when I got to the fourth season episode "The Interview." The idea that the Larry Gelbart actually bothered to read my blog--even once--meant more to me than I could possibly express.

I thanked him profusely for stopping by and for all his work; I can only hope he saw that comment after he left his. Even if he didn't, I can probably safely assume already knew.

Larry Gelbart was a genius, and his work will last long after all of us are gone. Rest in peace.


What the Parrot Saw said...

This is a fine eulogy, rob.

RIP, Mr. Gelbert. Out of borrowed elements, you created a genuinely moving, influential and ultimately classic work which improved on its already impressive celluloid model.

Thanks for everything. Godspeed...

Russell said...

I hate opening up the newspaper in the mornings and seeing obituaries for people I have never met but who have effected me greatly.

I got such a shock this morning when I saw that Larry Gelbart had passed away.

RIP, Mr. Gelbart, and thank you very, very much.

Dr. Eric said...

A beautiful eulogy, I could have written it myself. Back in the late '90s I used to visit the M*A*S*H usenet newsgroup. Mr. Gelbart did too, and he and I corresponded for a little while. He was always extremely gracious, and also very funny. So we can all remember him with a smile, I'll mention one exchange I had with him. I asked him if Col. Flagg was based on any specific. person. He said no, then said imagine his surprise when it turned out that Oliver North was based on Flagg :-)! To paraphrase a line from the Billy Crystal movie Mr. Saturday Night, he was 81 years old, and he went too soon.

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