Aaron Ruben (1914-2010)

Aaron Ruben, who produced the first five seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, passed away on January 30th at the age of 90. Ruben started his television career in 1953 writing for The Milton Berle Show and later Caesar’s Hour. From 1960 to 1965 he produced The Andy Griffith Show (he also wrote several episodes, directed a few and served as story consultant). Ruben created Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which spun-off the character of Gomer Pyle (played by Jim Nabors) into his own sitcom. The pilot episode aired as part of The Andy Griffith Show in May of 1964. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. premiered in September of 1964 and ran until 1969. Ruben produced Headmaster, which starred Andy Griffith, and later the first three seasons of Sanford & Son (writing more than a dozen episodes). He also wrote episodes of C.P.O. Sharkey and The Stockard Channing Show and served as creative consultant on Matlock during the early 1990s.

Obituaries can be found at The Los Angeles Times and Variety. A ten-part interview from 1999 can be found at the Archive of American Television.

(Via Sitcoms Online Message Boards.)


2 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Ruben also co-wrote Berle’s 1947-’48 NBC radio show with Nat Hiken, later joining his staff on “THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW”. Aaron also wrote several of Andy Griffith’s comedy routines for Capitol records in the early ’60s, most notable “Andy and Cleopatra”, where, under the guise of a “professor”, he tells the “class” his version of Cleopatra’s involvement with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony {including the part where he quotes Julius Caesar as saying to Cleo, “‘Ars mutandis loga vita- mutandis brevis’…and that means, ‘As sure as the vine twines ’round the stump, you are my darlin’, sugar lump!’ E-even in high school, he was good at writin’ poetry…”}.

    A very talented man, indeed.

  • ERIC R. PLEASANT says:

    Aaron Rueben also developed the SANFORD AND SON series and produced the first two seasons before Redd Foxx chased him away and the show went downhill soon afterwards.

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