Writer, Producer, Director, ‘Mad Libs’ Co-Creator Leonard Stern Dies at 87

The Emmy-Award winner wrote for “The Honeymooners,” “Get Smart” and “McMillan & Wife,” among other shows

The Emmy Award-winning writer-producer-director Leonard Stern, who wrote for such legendary shows as “The Honeymooners” and “Get Smart,” as well as the 1952 “The Jazz Singer,” died Tuesday. He was 87.

Stern’s television credits stretch to 1956’s “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show.” That same year, he wrote for “The Honeymooners” and “The Phil Silvers Show.”

Later in his career, he wrote 40 episodes and executive produced 22 episodes of “McMillan & Wife,” starring Rock Hudson.

His movie career included the 1952 “Jazz Singer,” starring Danny Thomas, the 1979 “Just You and Me, Kid,” starring George Burns and Brooke Shields and the 1980 “The Nude Bomb,” Abbott and Costello comedies and several others.

He also co-created the fill-in-the-blank word game “Mad Libs.”

Stern began writing when he was still in school, coming up with jokes for Milton Berle.

In 2000, he told wouldyoubelieve.com that among the shows he was most proud of was the 1962 “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster,” which got him a fan letter from Stan Laurel.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the actress Gloria Strook; a son, Michael Stern; a daughter, Kate Stern; two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.