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Sam Bobrick (1932–2019), creator of “Saved by the Bell”

by Linnea Crowther

Sam Bobrick was a writer best known for creating the popular sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” The hit show, set in a California high school, began its life as something completely different: Bobrick originally created it as “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” a story about a junior high school teacher and the students she helped. It fizzled after a season and was retooled into “Saved by the Bell,” retaining a few main characters and becoming a success in a new setting. Bobrick was also a staff writer for “The Andy Griffith Show” and wrote for a number of other classic TV shows, including “Captain Kangaroo,” “Bewitched,” and “The Flintstones.” He was Emmy-nominated for his writing on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” and he won three Writers Guild of America awards for his television writing.

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Died: October 11, 2019 (Who else died on October 11?)


Details of death: Died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center of a stroke at the age of 87.

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Other projects: Bobrick wrote more than television sitcoms, including dozens of plays, some of which premiered on Broadway, such as “Norman, Is that You?” and “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s.” His play “The Psychic” won a 2011 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Bobrick also wrote songs, including Elvis Presley’s “The Girl of My Best Friend.” He wrote two novelty albums for Mad magazine, “Fink Along with Mad” and “Mad Twists Rock n Roll.”

Bobrick on writing for TV: “In the old days they would do eighty or ninety percent of what you wrote. That’s just the way it was. Now working on these half hour shows — if 10% of your script remains, you’re very lucky. They tear them apart. Sometimes they make them better. Sometimes they make them worse.” —From a 2018 interview with Classic Television Showbiz

What people said about him: “Sam was, above all, a mensch of the highest order. …He was a delightful raconteur, a thoughtful and generous host, and never saw milk he couldn’t turn in to a shake. He was also wickedly and darkly funny. His humor was sometimes barbed, sometimes silly, sometimes absurdist, often self-deprecating. But this above all — he was never ever not funny.” —Actor Adam Carl

Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter

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