Gene Perret, Emmy-winning writer on ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ dead at 85
Emmy-winning writer Gene Perret, who wrote for “The Carol Burnett Show” as well as for Bob Hope, has died aged 85.
His daughter, Linda Perret, told The Hollywood Reporter that her beloved dad died on Nov. 15 of liver failure at his home in Westlake Village, Calif.
Throughout his glittering career, Perret was a treasured writer at “The Carol Burnett Show” — for which he won three Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series, in 1974, 1975, and 1978.
His star status propelled him to major fame among Hollywood locals, and he later wrote for “All in the Family,” “Welcome Back,” “Kotter,” and “Three’s Company.”
According to his website, Perret wrote jokes for Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, and Tim Conway — to name a few. He served as Hope’s head writer from 1969 until the comedian retired.
During a career spanning five decades, Perret also tried his hand at writing books which ended up contributing immensely to his success. He ended up writing over 45 books on comedy, and later contributed to several well-known publications.
Speaking to The Writer in 2016, Perret was asked how he determined if what he saw on the page in front of him was good material.
“You really don’t,” he told the outlet. “Comedy writers depend on a sense of humor and experience to determine what’s funny. But basically, we’re only guessing.”
“Many times a joke that you love is rejected by the client or the rest of the writing staff. Writers must go with their instincts, but ultimately it’s the audience that determines what’s funny,” he added.
Perret is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joanne, and children Joe, Terry, Carole, and Linda. He also leaves behind six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Author: Nika Shakhnazarova