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Gene Perret Dies: Emmy-Winning ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Writer & ‘Three’s Company’ Producer Was 85

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Gene Perret, who began a decades-long comedy writing career contributing jokes to stand-ups Slappy White and Phyllis Diller before joining the Emmy-winning writing staff of The Carol Burnett Show, launching a 28-year tenure with Bob Hope and serving as a producer on Three’s Company and Welcome Back, Kotter, died Nov.

15 of liver failure at his home in Westlake Village, CA. He was 85. According to family, Perret began writing comedy as a hobby while working as an electrical engineer for General Electric in Philadelphia during the mid-1950s.

After contributing some one-liners to local comic White, he was introduced by a friend to Diller, who hired him for her 1968 sitcom The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show and encouraged Perret to pursue comedy writing full time.

In 1969 he moved his family to California and within a year was writing for variety show The Jim Nabors Hour. In 1971 and ’72, Perret wrote for Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In before contributing to episodes of The New Bill Cosby Show, The Helen Reddy Show, Love, American Style, All in the Family and What’s Happening.

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