'Mad Libs' Co-Creator Dies at 88

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Leonard Stern — a prolific television writer, producer and director — died Tuesday at age 88. Among his credits: a writer for The Honeymooners, Get Smart and McMillan and Wife — to name a few. Yet, his most enduring contribution may not be found in punch lines for the small screen — but rather in blank spaces. Stern co-created the popular word game Mad Libs with fellow comedy writer Roger Price in 1958. At the time of the game's 50th anniversary, more than 110 million copies reportedly had been sold. Melissa Block and Michele Norris remember Leonard Stern.


Leonard Stern, a prolific TV writer, died Tuesday at the age of 88. Among his credits, the "Honeymooners," "Get Smart," and "McMillan and Wife," to name a few.


Yet, Leonard Stern's most enduring contribution may not be found in punch-lines for the small screen, but in blank spaces.

And so, Michele, we're going to play a little game now where you fill in the blanks. Here goes.

In 1958, Leonard Stern co-created "Mad Libs," a - and I need an adjective now.

NORRIS: Uproarious.

BLOCK: Okay, an uproarious game that involves filling in the - and now I need a plural noun.

NORRIS: Saucers.

BLOCK: Saucers, okay.

NORRIS: An uproarious game that involves filling in the saucers. And, Melissa, I'm going to keep going here and you can fill in a few blanks.

"Mad Libs" was very popular with young - and in this case I need a noun.

BLOCK: Crocodiles.

NORRIS: Okay, very popular with crocodiles.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NORRIS: And it sold millions of - another noun, please.

BLOCK: Baseballs.

NORRIS: And it made millions of children and adults laugh - this time I need an adverb.

BLOCK: Dangerously.

NORRIS: Dangerously. Oh, that sounds intriguing.

Well, Leonard Stern will be remembered - and, Melissa, one last adverb, please.

BLOCK: Fondly.

NORRIS: Fondly, that works. Rest in peace.

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