LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Irving Brecher, who wrote vaudeville one-liners for Milton Berle and scripted Marx Brothers movies, the TV and radio hit "The Life of Riley" and the Oscar-nominated musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," has died. He was 94.
Brecher died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to his wife, Norma.
At 19, he and a friend began a comedy-writing service for entertainers, promising jokes so bad even notorious gag-stealer Milton Berle wouldn't use them.
He was an uncredited script doctor on "The Wizard of Oz" and wrote screenplays for the Marx Brothers movies "At the Circus" and "Go West."
"If I were any drier, I'd be drowning," Groucho Marx says while caught in the rain in 1939's "At the Circus," which was filled with puns and other wordplay.
In another scene, Marx exclaims: "I bet your father spent the first year of your life throwing rocks at the stork."
Brecher created the long-running radio series "The Life of Riley," about a common man whose missteps cause endless trouble. Chester Riley, voiced by William Bendix, frequently used the tag line "What a revoltin' development this is!"
He made a video in 2007 during the writers' strike, urging the union not to settle, The New York Times noted.
"Since 1938, when I joined what was then the Radio Writers Guild, I have been waiting for the writers to get a fair deal; I'm still waiting," he said in the video. "As Chester A. Riley would have said: 'What a revoltin' development this is.' But he only said it because I wrote it."
Brecher also had a hand in the movie and television versions of "Life of Riley."
Brecher created, wrote, directed or produced several other movies, including the 1941 feature "Shadow of the Thin Man" and 1963's "Bye Bye Birdie."
In addition to his wife, Brecher is survived by three stepchildren and eight grandchildren.