WGA lauds laff man

Brooks honored with Sargent Award

The Writers Guild of America East has selected James L. Brooks to receive its inaugural Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence.

Prize has been created to honor a scribe “who has shown excellence in comedy writing and who has inspired others through leadership and mentoring.” It will be presented to Brooks at the WGA Awards ceremony Feb. 4 at Gotham’s Waldorf-Astoria.

Sargent was president of the WGA East for 14 years until his death in May. He was a writer-producer of “Saturday Night Live” for more than 20 years and wrote TV specials for Bing Crosby, Milton Berle, Perry Como, Sammy Davis Jr., Alan King, Paul McCartney, Lily Tomlin and Burt Bacharach.

Brooks won Oscars for producing, writing and directing “Terms of Endearment.” He received Oscar noms for producing and writing “Broadcast News” and “As Good As It Gets” and for producing “Jerry Maguire.”

Brooks also won three Writers Guild Awards and 15 Emmys. He produced “Taxi,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Rhoda,” “Lou Grant,” “Room 222,” “The Tracey Ullman Show” and “The Simpsons.”

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