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Peg Lynch, Writer and Star of Early Situation Comedy, Dies at 98

Margaret Frances “Peg” Lynch (November 25, 1916 – July 24, 2015), was an American writer and actor, and creator of the radio and television sitcom Ethel and Albert. She was one of the first women to star in, own, and write, singlehandedly, her own comedy series. WIKIPEDIA The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert is a 1940s comedy show created by and starring, Peg Lynch ("The Couple Next Door") and Alan Bunce. Also referred to as "The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert" set in the small american town of Sandy Harbor. The Ethel and Albert Arbuckle series first aired on local Minnesota radio in the early 1940s, then picked up by ABC from May 29, 1944 to August 28, 1950. “I base my show on the little things in life,” Ms. Lynch said in an interview in The New York Times in 1950, when the show, then on radio, was known as “The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert.” “I believe that people like to find out that other people have some of the same problems they do.” NYTimes OBIT The show had its first national exposure as a 15-minute, five-day-a-week radio program on the Blue Network (the progenitor of ABC) in 1944, with the actor Richard Widmark playing Albert. Three of the radio scripts were staged for television in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1946 — by then her co-star, who remained with the show for its remaining years, was Alan Bunce — and in 1950 “Ethel and Albert” appeared in sketches on “The Kate Smith Hour,” an afternoon variety show. It became its own weekly series, broadcast on Saturday nights on NBC, in 1953, later moving to CBS and then ABC before going off the air in 1956. Radio historian Gerald Nachman (in Raised on Radio) called the show "insightful and realistic... a real leap forward in domestic comedy—a lighthearted, clever, well-observed, daily 15-minute show about the amiable travails of a recognizable suburban couple" which combined "the domestic comedy of a vaudeville-based era with a keen modern sensibility. Lynch made her comic points without stooping to female stereotypes, insults, running gags, funny voices or goofy plots."

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