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SNL Vet Sargent Dies

Herb Sargent, 81, veteran writer and producer who bridged the TV comedy generations, died May 6 in New York. He had recently undergone heart surgery.

Sargent was an Emmy-winning writer for Saturday Night Live for two decades, but began his career writing for radio and then TV shows like the Colgate Comedy Hour and the Victor Borge Show.

At Saturday Night, he wrote with and mentored a generation of top TV talent from Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and Bill Murray, to Al Franken, Mike Myers, and Conan O'Brien, picking up six Emmys and six Writers Guild Awards along the way, including for writing on several comedy specials for stars from Milton Berle and Lily Tomlin to Paul McCartney.

He not only got Emmys, he wrote for them, with a couple of Emmy awards broadcasts among his voluminous writing credits.

He was also a former president of the Writers Guild of America, East, and a member of the board of governors of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sargent, who was raised in Upper Darby, Pa., and served in the Pacific Theater in World War II, is survived by his wife LeGrand Council Mellon and his brother, screenwriter Alvin Sargent.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.