BUT THE NEW YORK TIMES' OBIT GUILTY OF OVERLOOKING MAJOR CHAPTER IN THE LIFE OF THIS KING OF COMEDY
It was nice to see Tina Fey last night pay tribute to Herb Sargent during "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live." After all, it was Sargent who was the writer/producer mainly in charge of "Update" during the 20 years he spent at "SNL" as the eminece grise among all the comedy newbies who learned at the feet of one of the masters.
As prolific and just plain damn funny as he was, Sargent attended to more sobering matters as the president for the last 14 years of the Writers Guild of America East, where I had the chance to meet him in 1999 when I was on a WGA committee negotiating a new contract with CBS News. He stopped by to offer us encouragement and a few jokes.
Despite his stature, Sargent was never above it all. He was one of us, even though he was more talented than most of us.
It was disappointing to say the least that The New York Times, in its obit today, chose to ignore this part of his life.
It was nice, in un-Timesian fashion, to have fleshed out the obit with what were fresh quotes from Lorne Michaels and Al Franken. That may have been the case of not having much in the can and having to start from scratch, instead of dusting out some chestnut written a decade before with generic biographical information.
But for a man who dedicated so much time to making sure writers got the proper respect at networks and in Hollywood, his WGA legacy deserved at least a line or two.
Those who knew him or who benefited from his leadership and dedication, won't forget him anytime soon.