Gene Perret, Emmy-winning screenwriter for ‘The Carol Burnett Show’, dies at 85

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/westlake-village-ca/gene-perret-11017710 Gene Perret

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/westlake-village-ca/gene-perret-11017710 Gene Perret

Obituary Gene Perret

Gene Perret, Emmy-winning novelist and legendary joke writer, has passed away. He was 85 years old.

His daughter Linda Perret told it The Hollywood Reporter who died Nov. 15 of liver failure at his Westlake Village home.

Over his 50-year career, the professional comedy writer has written for The Carol Burnett Show – for which he won three Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series – as well as hit performances All in family; Welcome back Kotter; And The company of threeamong others.

According to the late comedian’s website, he wrote jokes for Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Tim Conway, and many more. Perret wrote for Hope from 1969 until the legendary performer retired, serving as head writer during Hope’s last 15 years.

RELATED: Tim Conway, star of The Carol Burnett ShowHe dies at 85

Perret, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has written more than 45 books on comedy and contributed to many publications including Reader’s Digest, Good house cleaning, Toastmaster And Arizona highways.

In an interview with Writer magazine in 2016, Perret was asked how he knows there’s something funny on the page.

“Really not,” he answered honestly. “Comedy writers depend on a sense of humor and experience to determine what’s funny. But basically we’re just assuming. Many times a joke you love is rejected by the client or the rest of the writing staff. Writers have to follow the their instincts, but ultimately it’s the audience that determines what’s funny.”

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 1: Pictured from left Rock Hudson, Carol Burnett, Ken Berry and Frank Gorshen for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, 1971, (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 1: Pictured from left Rock Hudson, Carol Burnett, Ken Berry and Frank Gorshen for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, 1971, (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

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When asked how he learned to be funny, Perret referred to those he admired. “Just as young people learn to play sports by watching their idols, comedians and writers learn to be funny by imitating their idols,” she explained.

“Bob Hope admits that he copied the style of vaudevillian Frank Fay. Woody Allen claimed that he used the screen character of Bob Hope in his films. Johnny Carson remembered Jack Benny and was proud of it. I always liked comedies, so I it started to be fun. It was pretty much inevitable,” Perret said.

According to The Hollywood reporterPerret is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joanne, and children Joe, Terry, Carole and Linda – a fellow comedy writer – as well as six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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