Mel Shavelson tribute: Funny man, great life

MelshavelsonCome prepared to laugh. Variety’s Army Archerd will host a tribute to multihyphenate Mel Shavelson, the industry vet who died earlier this month at the age of 90 (here’s Variety’s obit), on Aug. 28 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Shavelson (pictured at left from an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event in June) was known for his long association as a writer-producer for Bob Hope and for his many feature screenplays — including “Sorrowful Jones,” “The Great Lover,” “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” “April in Paris,” “The Seven Little Foys” and “Yours, Mine and Ours” and a ton of other credits — but he earned his place in TV history by penning the pilot for Danny Thomas’ “Make Room for Daddy.” (That show, which ran from 1953 to 1964 on ABC and later CBS, was the gift that kept on giving, through the magic of syndication and residuals, Shavelson was said to have often observed.)

Shavelson also served three terms as prexy of the Writers Guild of America West and generously donated a boatload of coin to establish the Writers Guild Foundation’s Shavelson-Webb Library. By all accounts, Mel was an all-around standup guy and very funny man. I’m sure that sentiment will be shared on Aug. 28 with a lineup of speakers set to include fellow scribes Hal Kanter, Del Reisman, Mort Lachman, Sherwood Schwartz and thesp Angie Dickinson, who starred in the Shavelson-penned 1966 drama “Cast a Giant Shadow.”

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