Back in the 1950s, Al Gordon was one of the writers that made Jack Benny a star on television. Later on he joined Smothers Brothers and Carol Burnett comedy shows, but it was the Gordon – Goldman team that got him praise. On Wednesday, Emmy-winning comedy writer Al Gordon died at 89 years.
Not many comedy writers can praise themselves with the highlights of Al Gordon’s career. He spent 40 years of his life writing popular comedy material for some of the best TV specials and Benny shows. In the end, his material would get him two Emmy Awards and a place in history books.
The man died earlier this week of age-related causes. His son, Neil confirmed that Al Gordon died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles this Wednesday. He leaves behind one of the best Jake Benny sketch ever. He is survived by Neil, his son, Jill, his daughter and four grandchildren.
Al Gordon started his career back in the 1950s, when Jake Benny was preparing to switch from radio to television. Along with his longtime companion Hal Goldman, Al Gordon started work for “The Jack Benny Program”. With two other writes on the team, Al Gordon and Hal Goldman made 222 episodes for the show that would bring them popularity.
Throughout the years, Al Gordon managed to remain current, although the industry was trying to stay away from hiring grays. The work for Jake Benny got him a reputation of a fast “quick-moving material” writer.
In an interview with The Times, back in the 90’s, Al Gordon said: “Hal and I had the best jobs in Hollywood. We worked for a man who was truly a prince in this business”. He also added: “Look, I was Jack’s unpolished diamond, the guy who could really deliver the one-liners. Hal was a nice man, but I was more active. He wanted to take it easy”.
Hal Goldman reacted to Al Gordon’s interview with The Times: “I was the typist, as Al probably told you. And, yes, he couldn’t type. I don’t think he could even spell! Al came up with very good jokes, but I had better judgment”.