Comedy writer Walter Stone, one of the original “Honeymooners” writers and one of comedian Jackie Gleason’s chief writers, died Oct. 20 of natural causes in Miami, Fla. He was 79.
Born in Dunellen, N.J., Stone began his writing career with Robert Q. Lewis’ CBS radio show. After writing for ABC’s “Stop the Music,” Stone met the then-unknown Gleason. Writing jokes and gags for the comic’s appearances on the Dumont Network, Stone established himself as a comedy writer. He caught the eye of Gleason, who hired him for his staff of writers that included Harry Crane, Marvin Marx and Syd Zaelinka.
In 1955 Stone co-wrote 39 episodes of “The Honeymooners.” Throughout the series’ run, Stone was known as one of the show’s mainstay writers. Stone also wrote several “Honeymooners” specials, including its 25th year reunion spec. In the 1960s, when Gleason’s variety TV show was based in Miami, Stone decided to retire but stayed close friends with Gleason.
Stone is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, one brother and two sisters.