Milt Josefsberg

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Milt Josefsberg
Milton Josefsberg

(1911-06-29)June 29, 1911
DiedNovember 14, 1987(1987-11-14) (aged 76)
OccupationRadio/Television screenwriter/producer
Years active1938–1987 (his death)

Milt Josefsberg (June 29, 1911 – December 14, 1987) was an American screenwriter.


Milt Josefsberg's first big break came in 1938, when he was hired as writer on Bob Hope's radio program.[1] Five years later, in the summer of 1943, he left Hope and took over as one of four new writers on The Jack Benny Program on the radio. At the time, Benny's two main writers, William "Bill" Morrow and Ed Beloin, had just recently left the show. Josefsberg was to remain with Jack Benny for twelve years,[2] until the closure of Benny's radio program in 1955. During his long association with Benny, Josefsberg would collaborate with all of Benny's other writers, although he tended to work most closely with John Tackaberry. From the early 1950s, he also worked on Benny's TV show.[3] Even after his partnership with Benny officially ended, Josefsberg would reportedly write stand-up material for Benny on occasion in the 1960s.

From the mid-1950s onward, Josefsberg worked as a writer for many television sitcoms, such as Archie Bunker's Place, All in the Family, Here's Lucy, The Lucy Show and The Odd Couple. Jim Wickey of The Green House, The Rip Borsley Show once commented about Josefsberg:

"Milt Josefsberg is an American success story. I doubt I would be writing if I had not been influenced by Milt, and I know that can be said for many of today's writers; the WGA picket line would be thinner without him!"

Also a producer and script reader, Josefsberg, who was called by Mel Shavelson, one-time creative partner and three-time Writers Gould of America (WGA) president "the maven of comedy",[4] did such for the television show, The Joey Bishop Show from 1961 to 1965, the film Butterfly (1979), as well as the TV series, You Can't Take It with You which ran from 1987 to 1988. In later years, he also penned the books The Jack Benny Show (1977) [5], reminiscing about his years as a writer on Benny's radio and TV shows, and Comedy Writing for Television and Hollywood. [6]

Family life and death[edit]

Josefsberg and his wife Hilda had two sons, Steven and Alan. Alan had two children, Suzi and Dean. Josefberg's great grandchildren, Amber and Taylor Ellison (Suzi's) and Mason and Matthew Josefsberg (Dean's), live today in Southern California. Josefsberg died in Burbank, California.


  1. ^ Josefsberg, Milt: The Jack Benny Show (Arlington House Publishers, 1977), p. 52. ISBN 087000347X, ISBN 9780870003479
  2. ^ Ibid.
  3. ^ Ibid., pp. 379-388.
  4. ^ Obituaries : Wrote for Benny, Hope, Lucille Ball : Milt Josefsberg; 'Maven of Comedy', Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1987, by Paul Feldman, Times Staff Writer, accessed September 22, 2013.
  5. ^ The Jack Benny Show by Milt Josefsberg (Hardcover, 496 pages), ISBN 087000347X, ISBN 9780870003479, Arlington House Publishers, 1977.
  6. ^ Comedy Writing for Television and Hollywood by Milt Josefsberg, (paperback), ISBN 0060960868, ISBN 978-0060960865, V Perennial, HarperCollins Publishers, September 1, 1987.

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