Humorist Larry Siegel has passed away.
Lawrence Harvey (Larry) Siegel
October 29, 1925 – August 20, 2019
It is with great sadness that I have to share the news that my father, Larry Siegel passed away last night at the age of 93 after a long battle with Parkinson’s. He was a fighter until the end and as of last weekend, still singing his beloved Frank Sinatra songs and his favorite WWII era song “Brother, Can you Spare a Dime.” As one of the original comedy writers for Mad Magazine, Playboy, The Carol Burnett show and Laugh-In, his comedy writing will live on forever, and his infectious sense of humor and love of life will be remembered by all those who loved him and were lucky enough to share a laugh with him over the years. He loved to tell people about his career and was proud of his 3 Emmys, but never, ever talked about his time in WWII where he was a decorated war hero and won a Purple Heart along with a slew of other medals.
Larry Siegel was one of the famed MAD writers for three decades from 1958 to 1990, some of its most successful years. It is difficult to pick just one sample from all that comedy, but I’ll take an excerpt from his and Jack Davis‘ satire of Hogan’s Heroes. I don’t think Larry found it particularly fitting to feature Nazis in a sitcom just twenty years after WWII.
Larry ended the Hokum’s Heroes satire with a spin-off – Hochman’s Heroes:
Just before hooking up with MAD, Larry had met and began contributing to former MAD editor and creator Harvey Kurtzman’s efforts. In 1957 and 1958 Larry offered readers funny stuff like “Fun with Hamlet and His Friends” (Humbug #7).
Ten years later (1965-69) he would team up with Kurtzman once again, helping to write Playboy’s Little Annie Fanny.
GROTH: At some point a writer by the name of Larry Siegel must have helped write the strip.
ELDER: Yeah. He did the writing. He’s a very humorous guy with a straight face.
GROTH: Why was he brought in to do some of the writing?
ELDER: Because Harvey had written a litany of stories, and he subjected them to scrutiny by Hefner and his gang. They didn’t like them. They returned them and asked for another way of doing it. Time was being lost because of this back-and-forth business and he needed someone to help him with a humorous story. Larry Siegel was right there at the right time.
Larry did more than comics.
He was an Emmy Award-winning writer for television, among other endeavors.
Rest in Peace, Larry.