Eagle-eyed viewers of 1970s and '80s situation comedies might have noticed that writer-producer Ed. Weinberger always had a period following his first name in the credits of wildly successful series like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Taxi," and "The Cosby Show." That affectation of punctuation came about because while Weinberger does go by the familiar diminutive, his given name is Edwin, not the expected Edward. Weinberger first broke into show business in the early 1960s as a joke writer for nightclub comics; that facility for one-liners got him hired by Johnny Carson as a gag man for his nightly monologues, by Dean Martin for his popular mid-'60s variety show, and by Bob Hope for his regular TV specials. In 1972, Weinberger was hired as a staff writer for "Mary Tyler Moore," his first foray into situation comedy. He proved adept at the form, writing 20 episodes including the beloved series' finale. In 1978, Weinberger and his "Mary Tyler Moore" cohorts Stan Daniels, David Davis, and James L. Brooks formed an independent production house called the John Charles Walters Company; their first show together, "Taxi," was a critically-acclaimed success that ran for five seasons. (Weinberger also played the Mr. Walters of the title in the company's vanity logo, a businessman grunting in response to a secretary's cheerful "Good night, Mr. Walters!") In the 1980s, Weinberger co-created the smash "The Cosby Show," as well as the hits "Amen" and "Dear John."