Scribe penned TV comedies 'Cheers,' 'Frasier'
David Lloyd, a writer for classic TV comedies ranging from “The Tonight Show” in the Jack Paar years to “Cheers” and “Frasier,” died Tuesday of prostate cancer at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 75.
Lloyd won two writing Emmys for his work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” One of those trophies came in 1976 for an episode that is frequently cited as among the best of the sitcom breed: “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” in which the staff of WJM-TV reacts to the death of kid show host Chuckles the Clown in a freak accident.
“The word ‘wit’ doesn’t come up an awful lot when you’re talking about television comedy, but that’s what David was: a genuine wit,” “Mary Tyler Moore” show co-creator Allan Burns told the Los Angeles Times. “And he was just remarkable in his ability to write wonderful stuff very quickly.”
Born in Brooklyn, Lloyd studied English at Yale U. He served in the Navy after graduation and was working as an English teacher at a New Jersey prep school when he began writing jokes for Paar and later Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” He also worked for “The Dick Cavett Show.” He moved to Hollywood in 1974 after “Mary Tyler Moore” producers were impressed by a spec script that he wrote for the show.
Lloyd’s many other credits included “Mary Tyler Moore” spinoffs “Rhoda,” “Phyllis” and “Lou Grant,” as well as “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Taxi,” “Amen” and “Brothers.” During his years on “Frasier,” Lloyd worked with his son, Christopher, a prominent scribe who is co-creator of ABC’s freshman hit “Modern Family.”
Lloyd is also survived by his wife, Arline; two daughters, two sons, a sister and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
Donations may be made to the USC Westside Prostate Cancer Center, 8900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, 90211.