Jack Douglas (writer)

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For other people named Jack Douglas, see Jack Douglas (disambiguation).
Jack Douglas
Born Douglas Linley Crickard
July 17, 1909
Lynbrook, New York, US
Died January 31, 1989(1989-01-31) (aged 79)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Pen name Jack Douglas
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, columnist, actor, television personality, comedian
Period 1947-1979
Genre Comedy
Notable works My Brother Was An Only Child
Spouse Reiko Hashimoto
(1960–1989 - his death)
Marion Hutton
(1949-1954 - divorced)
Merle Dean Crain
(1937-1949 - divorced)
Children Johnny, Marlene, Peter, Bobby, Timothy

Jack Douglas (born Douglas Linley Crickard, July 17, 1908 - January 31, 1989) was an American comedy writer who wrote for radio and television while additionally writing a series of humor books.

Radio[edit]

On radio, he was a writer for Red Skelton, Bob Hope and the situation comedy, Tommy Riggs and Betty Lou (1938-46), in which Riggs switched back and forth from his natural baritone to the voice of a seven-year-old girl.

Television[edit]

Continuing to write for Skelton and Hope as he moved into television, Douglas also wrote for Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby, Woody Allen, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Jack Paar Show, The George Gobel Show and Laugh-In. The producer of Laugh-In, George Schlatter, said, "He saw the world from a different angle than the rest of us. He was not only funny, he was nice."

He was best known for his frequent guest appearances on Jack Paar's shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s. On one such appearance, when Douglas was well established as a Paar guest, he was chastised by Paar for holding a stack of file cards with his jokes while talking with Paar. When Paar returned to television in 1973 and was confronted by unexpected low ratings, he engaged Douglas to contribute monologue material by mail. One week there was no mail from Douglas; but his next package contained a note: "Sorry I didn't send anything last week. I forgot you were on."

Douglas and his third wife Reiko, a Japanese-born singer and comedienne, were regular guests on shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson.

Humor books[edit]

By 1959, Douglas' appearances with Paar gave him a huge audience for his humorous memoirs, published by Dutton and Putnam with many mass market paperback editions by Pocket Books and others.

My Brother Was an Only Child, adapted from a book he privately printed in 1947 and sent to 400 of his friends, stayed on the bestseller lists for months in 1959. Some of his books, including Shut Up and Eat Your Snowshoes (1970), were set in Northern Ontario, where Jack and Reiko Douglas lived for several years. The town of Chinookville in the Northern Ontario books is based on the Ontario city of Sudbury. The book The Neighbors Are Scaring My Wolf (1968) was based on his experiences living in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Douglas won an Emmy in 1954 for best-written comedy material.

Books by Jack Douglas[edit]

  • No Navel to Guide Him (1947)
  • My Brother Was an Only Child (1959)
  • Never Trust a Naked Bus Driver (1960)
  • A Funny Thing Happened to Me on My Way to the Grave (1962)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Hashimoto (1964)
  • The Neighbors Are Scaring My Wolf (1968)
  • Shut Up and Eat Your Snowshoes (1970)
  • What Do You Hear from Walden Pond? (1971)
  • The Jewish/Japanese Sex and Cookbook, and How to Raise Wolves (1972)
  • Benedict Arnold Slept Here (1975)
  • Going Nuts in Brazil (1977)
  • Rubber Duck (1979)

Personal life[edit]

Douglas's first marriage to Merle Dean Crain lasted 11 years before ending in divorce, and produced a son, Johnny, and a daughter, Marlene. His second marriage, which lasted 5 years and also ended in divorce, was to singer Marion Hutton. He and Marion were the parents of photojournalist Peter Hemming. He and his third wife, Reiko, remained married for nearly 30 years until his death. They had two children together, film composer Robert Douglas and studio technician Timothy Douglas. He died of complications from pneumonia in 1989, at age 80, in Los Angeles.

References[edit]

External links[edit]