Legendary comedy writer Bob Schiller ’39, whose career spanned over 60 years, passed away on October 10 at age 98. Schiller and writing partner Bob Weiskopf worked together for 45 years and were pioneers in television sitcom writing, counting scripts for “I Love Lucy,” “All in the Family,” and “Maude” among their numerous other credits.
Schiller was born in San Francisco, but his family relocated to Los Angeles where he graduated from Los Angeles High School at the age of 16. He earned a B.A. in economics at UCLA, was a member of Tau Delta Phi, and wrote a humor column in the Daily Bruin.
Serving in the army during World War II, Schiller wrote a column for the Stars and Stripes publication and also produced comedy-variety shows for the troops. After the war, he began working in radio, writing for such well-known shows as “Abbott and Costello,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “The Mel Blanc Show,” “Sweeney and March,” “The Jimmy Durante Show,” “December Bride,” and “Duffy’s Tavern.”
In 1953, Schiller met and began working with Weiskopf, their first collaboration being a radio script for “Our Miss Brooks.” Moving on to television, the team wrote many of the most beloved episodes of “I Love Lucy,” including the “John Wayne’s footprints” and “grape stomping” episodes. Schiller and Weiskopf also wrote for popular 1950s and early ’60s shows such as “Make Room for Daddy,” “The Bob Cummings Show,” “My Favorite Husband,” “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” “The Ann Sothern Show,” and “Pete and Gladys.” Their partnership continued through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, writing and/or producing such shows as “The Lucy Show,” “The Red Skelton Show,” “The Good Guys,” “The Phyllis Diller Show”, “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Flip Wilson Show,” “Maude,” “All in the Family” and “Archie Bunker’s Place.” The team’s work was recognized with numerous awards, including two Emmys, a Golden Globe, two Peabody Awards, the Humanitas Prize, and the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Achievement from the Writer’s Guild of America.
Schiller is survived by his wife Sabrina, his children Tom, Jim, Abbie and Sadie; and his grandchildren Ona, Charlie, Lucy, Archie, and Amelie.
Read the full obituary here.