I have to put up a brief post to acknowledge the death of Emmy-winning TV writer Sam Denoff, 83. With Bill Persky, he was one of the top writers on the famous Dick Van Dyke Show and created the Marlo Thomas vehicle, That Girl (who was “everything that every girl should be!”)
Before Persky and Denoff became famous, however, they worked at New York City radio station WNEW with my DJ father, Gene Klavan, his partner Dee Finch, and the famous noon hour DJ William B. Williams. And among Persky and Denoff’s many successes, was a failed sitcom called Good Morning, World which starred Ronnie Schell and Joby Baker. Although Willie B. got screen credit for the show’s title, based on his signature “Hello, World,” the show, which was about two morning DJ’s, one a kooky comic and the other a straight man, was clearly based on my father’s show Klavan and Finch. In fact, I remember going to California once to watch my father film a walk-on as a drunken news man.
Finally, I’m pretty sure it was Denoff who, when I was a little boy, arranged for me to meet my idol, Bill Cosby. I shook hands with the Cos while he was filming the hopscotch credit sequence to his first TV special and also got to watch him film a scene from my then-favorite show I Spy. It was a big thrill for a little guy and I remain grateful for it.
Rest in peace.