Robert Klane, Writer of ‘Weekend at Bernie’s,’ Dies at 81

by The Technical Blogs


On the other hand, Jack Benny sent Mr. Klane a fan letter telling him that it was the funniest book he had ever read.

Two years later, Mr. Klane published “Where’s Poppa?,” and that same year Carl Reiner directed the film version, with a script by Mr. Klane. Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that the film did not have “much more on its mind than a desperate desire to provoke shock and laughter” — which, he said, it did successfully.

Jon Klane recalled going to a theater to see the film with his father, who stayed in the lobby. “I came out to get candy, and he was watching a matronly woman demand a refund,” he said by phone. “I went up to him and he said, ‘This is exactly the kind of person I want to offend.’”

Over the next three decades, Mr. Klane stayed relatively busy in television and film. He wrote six episodes of the sitcom “M*A*S*H”; the 1985 film “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” with John Hughes; “The Man With One Red Shoe,” a 1985 remake of the French comedy “The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe,” which starred Tom Hanks; and 11 episodes of Tracey Ullman’s sketch comedy series “Tracey Takes On …” in 1997, for which he and several others received an Emmy Award for outstanding variety, music or comedy series.

His directing work included “Thank God It’s Friday” (1978), set entirely in a disco, which won the Academy Award for best original song, “Last Dance,” sung by the disco diva Donna Summer, one of its stars; and “The Odd Couple: Together Again,” a 1993 TV movie that reunited Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, the stars of that 1970s sitcom.

In addition to his son Jon, Mr. Klane is survived by his wife, J.C. Scott; a daughter, Caitlin Klane; another son, David; a brother, Larry; and five grandchildren. Another daughter, Tracy Klane, died in 2011. His marriages to Linda Tesh and the actress Anjanette Comer ended in divorce.


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