David Lloyd - Rotten Tomatoes

David Lloyd

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In the world of series television, if a writer is either talented or fortunate, they might get a few minutes of on-air recognition at the Emmy or Golden Globe presentations. David Lloyd was talented and fortunate, in large measures, which enabled to him to achieve a unique level of recognition within the industry, as the author of an episode that managed to become one of the outstanding moments in its decade of television: the renowned "Chuckles Bites The Dust" episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The script won him an Emmy, but its insightful mix of humor and human nature was a landmark in modern television comedy, as well as a fulfillment of the promise shown in sitcom scripts going back at least a dozen years, on programs such as The Dick Van Dyke Show (where Mary Tyler Moore had first become a television star). Lloyd came to series television relatively late, when he was nearly 40. He was born in Bronxville, New York, in 1934, the son of an advertising writer who also composed songs and wrote comedy. He was a Yale graduate, and briefly considered an acting career, but a hitch in the United States Navy derailed that notion, and when he returned to civilian life, he took a job as a teacher. Lloyd broke into writing for television working for Jack Paar, and later Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett, writing monologs for all three. He moved into series television and sitcom with the advent of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1971, authoring his first script and selling it to the producers. He went on to write or co-write more than 30 episodes of the program, including his Emmy-winning show and such classics as "The Happy Homemaker Takes Lou Home". He also wrote scripts for The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, The Associates, Taxi, Dear John, Wings, Cheers, and Frasier in the decades that followed, all of which reflected his command of the mainstream public pulse, even in an age in which -- in the case of the later series on that list -- the networks were shedding viewers in droves. And on a slightly more daring cultural front, past the boundaries of network acceptability, Lloyd created the successful cable sitcom Brothers, as well, which was groundbreaking at the time for having one key character who was avowedly gay. Many of Lloyd's scripts had conceits that bordered on the brilliant, if not always stepping right over that border, not only in their humor but the thought-processes and sub-creation behind them. In "Chuckles Bites The Dust", he tok a ludicrous but sad situation, the death of a children's show host in a most ridiculous manner, and turned it into a dazzlingly funny comment on human nature. A quarter century later, in the Frasier episode "They're Playing Our Song", the payoff to an increasingly funny, ultimately downright ridiculous attempt by the pompous title-character, Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), to write a jingle for his radio show, is an absurdly overblown production involving an entire orchestra and chorus that one character describes, after a jaw-dropping performance of the "jingle" in question -- its lyric laden with psychological jargon -- as resembling "Gilbert and Sullivan, but frightening." And in one Taxi episode, "Louie Moves Uptown", he created a superb vehicle for co-star Danny DeVito, guest-star Gayle Hunnicut, and special guest Penny Marshall (appearing as herself). A Lloyd script tended to have moments and opportunities like that, and even when he didn't write a particular show, his influence was felt -- he was "creative consultant" on hundreds of episodes of various sitcoms. And even some of the failed series in which he was involved, such as the satire Best of the West, were memorable. If Lloyd didn't exactly write the book on sitcom writing, he showed one direction in which it could go at its most developed. His prolifacy was almost as impressive as the quality of his work, with many dozens of scripts to his credit across three decades. Lloyd passed away on November 10, 2009, from prostate

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Mindscape Of Alan Moore
  • Actor
2009

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
94% Frasier
1993-2004
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
  • 1998
  • 1997
  • 1996
  • 1995
  • 1994
No Score Yet Wings
1990-1997
  • Screenwriter
  • 1995
  • 1994
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
No Score Yet Cheers
1982-1993
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1983
No Score Yet Taxi
1978-1983
  • Screenwriter
  • 1983
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
  • 1979
No Score Yet The Bob Newhart Show
1972-1978
  • Screenwriter
  • 1977
  • 1976
No Score Yet The Mary Tyler Moore Show
1970-1977
  • Screenwriter
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1970
No Score Yet Rhoda
1978
  • Screenwriter
  • 1974

Quotes from David Lloyd's Characters

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