EXPIRED: 01/30/10 – Aaron Ruben, 95, was a comedy writer and director who produced “The Andy Griffith Show” and created the spinoff series “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” A native Chicagoan, Ruben got his start in radio after World War II, creating comedy bits for Dinah Shore, Burns & Allen, and Milton Berle.
He then moved to writing for some of the same actors in the early days of TV back in the early 1950s, and tried his hand at directing with “The Phil Silvers Show.”
But his true love was working on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
“My theory,” Ruben once said, “is that the Griffith show is like the grown-ups’ Oz. It’s the land of, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a town with no drugs, no crime, no gangs, no violence, (a place where) people greet each other, people are kind to each other.’ . . . That’s why grown-ups love that show.”
Ruben then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and produce “The Comic,” a 1969 movie about the rise and fall of a silent film comedian starring Dick Van Dyke.
He then returned to the small screen to produce the Redd Foxx vehicle, “Sanford and Son,” which ran for much of the 70’s.
Later in life Ruben was a court-appointed advocate for abused and abandoned children.