Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daivd Lloyd, 1934-2009

If you watched the Nov. 18, 2009 episode of "Modern Family", you saw at the end, an in memoriam card dedicated to comedy writer David Lloyd. The card read, "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." If you're older than forty, you know where that line comes from.

David Lloyd passed away on Nov. 10, 2009. He was a prolific comedy writer. He wrote for The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, Cheers, Wings, Frasier and a little sitcom called, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." His comedy will stand the test of time.

It's not easy being a comedy writer. Humor is a subjective matter. Trying to find what is funny cannot be measured by objective means. So when you hear the plot to the season 6 episode of Mary Tyler Moore called "Chuckles Bites the Dust", written by Lloyd, it's not going to sound funny. But here it is. Chuckles the Clown, who is the children's entertainer at the TV station WJM, gets killed while marching in the parade. Not funny. But wait, there's more. He gets killed while dressed as one of his on air characters, Peter the Peanut. A rogue elephant in the parade tried to shell him. Okay, dark but funny. This leads the group at WJM consisting of Lou, Murray and Sue Ann to crack jokes. Mary is appalled because somebody has died. All of this comes to a riotous conclusion at the funeral. The episode won an Emmy for LLoyd.

So it's fitting for Christopher Lloyd, David's son, and co-creator of "Modern Family" to put a card on the air with that expression. Since it comes from
"Chuckles Bites the Dust." You see that was Chuckles the Clown's motto and at his funeral, the Reverend recites it. Somebody posted the entire episode on YouTube. Here it is.

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