Herbert Finn

TV sitcom, family show writer

Herbert Finn, TV sitcom and family show writer in the ’50s heyday of television, died May 28 in Burbank, Calif., of respiratory failure. He was 89.

He wrote for such TV staples as “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Flintstones” “Dennis the Menace” and “The Brady Bunch,” but “The Honeymooners” was the pinnacle of his career.

Finn and Andy Russell were one of the last two writers in 1955 to join Jackie Gleason’s posse of scribes –Marvin Marx, Walter Stone, Leonard Stern, Syd Zelinka — for the classic 39 shows of “The Honeymooners.”

On the show, Russell and Finn were paired frequently to pen such episodes as “The Golfer,” in which Ed Norton’s catchphrase “Hello, ball” was coined.

Although new to TV when he hooked up with Gleason, Finn already had a reputation as a veteran sitcom writer, first cutting his teeth on “Duffy’s Tavern,” a show that wound up being a perfect training ground for “The Honeymooners,” given the show’s jam-packed joke lines.

A Boston native with ambitions of being an actor, Finn began working in the theater, primarily in New York and his hometown, before landing his big break in showbiz as a radio writer on the “Amos ‘n’ Andy” shows.

Finn’s final work, “The Almoster,” a comedy set in Ireland, won the Mobil Playwriting Competition award in 1985.

He is survived by his daughter.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety