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Comedy writer Al Gordon dies at 89

Three-time Emmy winner wrote for Jack Benny

Emmy winner Al Gordon, a comedy writer for Jack Benny’s series and specials, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Carol Burnett Show” as well as sitcoms including “Three’s Company,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles after suffering a seizure. He was 89.

Gordon, who began in radio, won three Emmys and was nominated for seven more over the course of a four-decade career in television.

The comedy scribe was credited on 222 episodes of “The Jack Benny Program” from 1954-65, picking up two Emmys and a total of six nominations along the way. (During the 1950s he also wrote for “The Red Skelton Hour” and “The Gale Storm Show.”) When the Benny program ended, Gordon continued to work for the comedian by contributing to specials such as “Jack Benny’s Bag” and “Jack Benny’s Birthday Special” in the late 1960s.

He penned an episode of “Get Smart” in 1965 and shared an Emmy in 1966 for his work on the variety special “An Evening With Carol Channing.” Gordon drew Emmy noms in 1968 for his contributions to “The Carol Burnett Show,” in 1969 for his efforts on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” and another in 1971 for “Jack Benny’s Twentieth Anniversary Special.”

He continued to work in the variety genre in the 1970s, writing for Flip Wilson’s “Flip” and “Tony Orlando and Dawn,” but segued into work on sitcoms as the popularity of variety shows faded, penning episodes of “That’s My Mama,” “Carter Country,” “Hello, Larry” and “Three’s Company.” He also scripted an episode of “Too Close for Comfort” and 15 episodes of the Marla Gibb starrer “227.”

Born in Akron, Ohio, Gordon moved to the Bronx amid the deprivations of the Depression.

He is survived by his son Neil, a producer, and two granddaughters.

Services will be Friday at noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles.