Writer Gelbart dead at 81

Gelbart got his big break writing jokes for comedians Sid Caesar and Danny Thomas and became a staff member on The Red Buttons Show in the early 1950s.

He went on to write for variety shows fronted by Judy Garland and Danny Kaye.

He also wrote the book A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, which became a hit play and movie.

Gelbart was diagnosed with cancer in June (09). He died on Friday (11Sep09).