You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Comedy writer Sidney Reznick dies at 93

Worked in radio, golden era TV, 'Tonight Show'

Sidney Reznick, a comedy writer who began in radio in the early 1940s with “The Jimmy Durante Show,” worked in the golden era of television and remained in the business long enough to pen three episodes of “The Love Boat,” died in Los Angeles on July 24. He was 93.

While still in radio, Reznick also wrote for performers including Bob Hope, Al Jolson, Ethel Merman, Phil Silvers, Ed Wynn, Steve Allen, Sam Levenson, comedian Henry Morgan, Robert Q. Lewis and Jan Murray. Reznick created the comedy gameshow “Sez Who?” in 1957. For television in the 1950s and 1960s, Reznick wrote for the Jack Paar morning show and the variety shows of Garry Moore and Jackie Gleason, among others, as well as specials or series for Hope, Vic Damone, Victor Borge and the Manhattan Transfer.

He was a staff writer for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” both in New York and Los Angeles, and he was onstage when Tiny Tim was married on air. He also wrote episodes of “Love, American Style,” “The Odd Couple,” “The Love Boat” and other sitcoms and consulted for various gameshows.

Reznick wrote jokes for Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon. In response to Nixon’s refusal to debate, he had Humphrey refer to “Richard the Chicken-Hearted” — a sobriquet cited in several political columns of the time and mentioned by Nixon years later when Humphrey died.

Reznick was born in New York City.

He is survived by two sons and two grandchildren.

In lieu of a memorial, his friends are invited to leave a message on the webpage


More TV

  • TV Roundup: Netflix Sets 'Tidying Up

    TV News Roundup: Steven Yeun Joins 'Twilight Zone' at CBS All Access

    In Wednesday’s roundup, Netflix reveals the premiere date for “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and Steven Yeun joins Jordan Peele’s “Twilight Zone” reboot. FIRST LOOKS  Variety has an exclusive behind-the-scenes first look at Season 2 of Showtime’s “SMILF,” featuring creator and star, Frankie Shaw. The new season, which premieres Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, finds Bridgette trying to move [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    CBS News Settles Suit Alleging Harassment by Charlie Rose

    CBS News settled a lawsuit filed by three women who alleged they were harassed by former “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose, and claimed CBS did not act despite being aware of the situation. The amount awarded to the women was not disclosed at their request, according to a CBS News spokesperson. “The matter has [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • Netflix - Marvel's The Defenders

    Don't Expect 'The Defenders' on Disney Streaming Service Any Time Soon (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of the Marvel Television series recently canceled by Netflix who hope to see the shows revived on Disney+ may be out of luck. Sources tell Variety that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after [...]

  • One Dollar CBS All Access

    'One Dollar' Canceled by CBS All Access After One Season

    “One Dollar” has the ignominious distinction of being the first CBS All Access original series to be canceled. Variety has confirmed that the streaming service will not be bringing the drama series back for a second season. The series was set in a small rust belt town in post-recession America, where a one-dollar bill changing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content