Monday, June 19, 2017

Bill Dana

Comedian, comedy writer, actor, screenwriter, and archivist -- via Business Wire. AKA William Szathmary. Best remembered for his many appearances as "Jose Jimenez." He started off at the bottom -- working East Coast clubs right after WWII as a double act with Gene Wood. He really made it as a writer, graduating up to "The Steve Allen Show" (the ur-"Tonight" show), where he created his memorable persona Jose Jimenez in 1959. This character was wildly popular for years; Dana substantially stopped doing it in 1970 out of respect for cultural sensitivities. He wrote one of the best episodes of "All in the Family," "Sammy's Visit." Later in life, he helped assemble the American Comedy Archives -- interviews with key comedy figures.