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Irving Brecher

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Irving Brecher


TV shows
The People's Choice

Irving Brecher jangle04homemindspringcombrecher2jpg

January 17, 1914 (
New York City, New York

Resting place
Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California

Screenwriter, producer, director

November 17, 2008, Los Angeles, California, United States

Norma Brecher (m. 1983–2008), Eve Bennett (m. ?–1981)

The Wicked Wit of the West

Meet Me in St Louis, The Wizard of Oz, Go West, At the Circus, Bye Bye Birdie

Similar People
Fred F Finklehoffe, Sally Benson, Edward Buzzell, Arthur Freed, Noel Langley

The writer speaks irving brecher part 1

Irving S. Brecher (January 17, 1914 – November 17, 2008) was a screenwriter who wrote for the Marx Brothers among many others; he was the only writer to get sole credit on a Marx Brothers film, penning the screenplays for At the Circus (1939) and Go West (1940). He was also one of the numerous uncredited writers on the screenplay of The Wizard of Oz (1939). Some of his other screenplays were Shadow of the Thin Man (1941), Ziegfeld Follies (1946) and Bye Bye Birdie (1963).


Irving Brecher The Wicked Wit of the West Irving Brecher Hank Rosenfeld

The writer speaks irving brecher part 2

Early years

Born in the Bronx, New York, Brecher's first professional involvement with movies came when he became an usher at a Manhattan, New York movie theater at age 19. Even as a teenager he was writing jokes, sending them to newspaper columnists Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan on postcards.


He created, produced, and was head writer for the original radio and early TV edition of The Life of Riley. He also wrote for Al Jolson on radio and later created and co-produced The People's Choice as well.

Brecher's career in screenwriting began in 1937.

Adapting Nathaniel Benchley's novel, he wrote the screenplay for, and directed Sail A Crooked Ship starring Ernie Kovacs and a young Robert Wagner.

He received an Academy Award nomination in 1944 for his screenplay of Meet Me in St Louis.

As an aspiring young comedy writer, Brecher famously placed an ad in Variety looking for work, promising he could write "jokes so bad, even Milton Berle wouldn't steal them." He was promptly hired by Berle himself.

Brecher, who bore a physical resemblance to Groucho Marx, once filled in for him in Marx Brothers publicity photos for the film Go West, despite an almost 25-year age difference.

His memoirs, The Wicked Wit of the West: The last great Golden-Age screenwriter shares the hilarity and heartaches of working with Groucho, Garland, Gleason, Burns, Berle, Benny & many more, was published posthumously in January 2009 by Ben Yehuda Press.


Brecher died November 17, 2008. He was survived by his wife and three stepchildren.


Irving Brecher Wikipedia

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