BEGUILING IS PUTTING IT MILDLY – BILL PERSKY AND COMEDY

Emmy night in May 1966, a banner evening for "The Dick Van Dyke Show." From left, the writer Bill Persky; the show's creator, Carl Reiner; its stars Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke; and Sam Denoff.

Emmy night in May 1966, a banner evening for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” From left, the writer Bill Persky; the show’s creator, Carl Reiner; its stars Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke; and Sam Denoff. New York Times

If you watched television anytime from the 1960s through the 1980s chances are if you were laughing Bill Persky had a hand in the script. Now in his eighties he’s got himself a WordPress site and published a book that I can’t wait to get my mitts on, a memoir of his life during the Golden Era of TV.

“Those royal names created an image – a medieval spin- that let you know what to expect from a leader. Maybe it’s time to resurrect the naming thing in our current political culture; it would be boon for online dating. Think of all the time and emotion that would be saved if Audrey the Needy knew, no matter how attractive he appeared, that Len the Wounded wasn’t going to be there for her, and how much better her chances with Monty the Giving even though he didn’t like musical theater. And poor Len the Wounded was so close to happiness with Evelyn the Healer, if he could have just gotten past her being a vegan.”     Bill Persky

Bill Persky – My Life is a Situation Comedy | Just another WordPress.com site.

My Life Is a Situation Comedy: Bill Persky: Amazon.com: Kindle Store.

11 comments

  1. I’ve long adored this TV series classic. I never missed an episode growing up. I’ve definitely following Mr. Persky’s blog and grabbing his book. Thanks so much for the heads up, Vickie.

  2. The DVD show was so fast, quick, smart, warm, real. And it accomplished it all without resorting to the scatology and vulgarity that every sitcom has today. I think great art is often accomplished within boundaries and limits, and the monetary and moral restrictions of the 1960s, and earlier, had a way of emboldening the imagination and creativity of writers, actors, and directors.

    • I know Bill Persky certainly helped shape my imagination. The Dick Van Dyke show was my earliest TV memory. What’s even more amazing is the memory goes so far back, I think I was three! And you’re right, funny, witty, and in good taste.

  3. To me, the Dick Van Dyke show and the Andy Griffith Show remain the high water marks of sit-com writing in the USA. Real people, real stories, all class. Looking forward to the book.

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