Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
The man responsible for many of the howls contained in three of Woody Allen's earliest and funniest movies is dead. Mickey Rose, co-author of What's Up, Tiger Lily?, Take the Money and Run, and Bananas died of cancer Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 77.
Michael 'Mickey' Rose was born in Brooklyn on May 20, 1935. The son of a single mother, Rose's father left the family before young Mickey was born. Allen and Rose met in high school art class and became fast friends.
Rose broke into television and film writing jokes and comedy routines for legendary comedians like Sid Caesar, Dick Van Dyke, Jonathan Winters, The Smothers Brothers, Johnny Carson, and Rodney Dangerfield.
Before assisting Woody on the redub of Tiger Lily, Rose co-wrote many of the comic's standup routines, including the famous "Moose" sketch. According to the LA Times, "They wrote their material together, furiously tossing jokes back and forth and finishing the script for Take the Money and Run in a room at the Plaza Hotel in just three weeks."
Allen introduced Rose to Judy Wolf, the woman who would later become his wife of 40 years. (Judy Rose passed away in 2003.) Allen acted as best man at the wedding.
After the duo made a professional split, of sorts, Rose, ironically enough, went to work as a staff writer on The Dean Martin Show. He also wrote for All in the Family, The Odd Couple, Charlie's Angels, Love American Style, and The Love Boat.
Long before Scary Movie made horror satires all seem so boring, Rose tried his hand at directing a spoof of slasher's films. In it's own way, Student Bodies (1981) was a horrifying experience.
His son told the Times that by the mid-1980s, Rose's "opportunities had become fewer and he largely stepped back from comedy writing." He said, "Rose and Allen had remained in touch through the years." Mickey's son, Quincy Rose, had a role Allen's Melinda and Melinda (2004).