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George Balzer, 91; Wrote for Jack Benny's Radio and TV Shows

OBITUARIES | PASSINGS

October 03, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

George Balzer, 91, an Emmy-winning comedy writer, died of natural causes Thursday at his home in Van Nuys, according to his son, Tim Balzer.

Balzer was part of a team of comedy writers who won the Emmy for "The Jack Benny Program," which premiered on television in 1950 and became "The Jack Benny Hour" in the mid-1960s.

He started writing for Benny in 1943, when the show was on radio, and moved to television with Burns during the 25 years he spent under contract with the famous comedian.

Balzer also wrote a Broadway musical that was later made into a feature film. "Are You With It?" with a book by Balzer and Sam Perrin, opened on Broadway in 1945. Three years later a movie version opened with Balzer and Oscar Brodney credited as the writers.

Balzer was born in Erie, Pa., and moved to Los Angeles with his parents in 1920. He attended Winnetka Elementary School and Canoga Park High School.

Although his name is most often associated with Jack Benny, Balzer wrote for several other comedians, including Bob "Bazooka" Burns and the comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen.

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