Larry Gelbart began writing jokes for Danny Thomas when he was still in his teens, would go on to write jokes for Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, craft the Broadway classic "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum," adapt M*A*S*H to TV, and write the screenplays for Oh God! and Tootsie. He continued to write until shortly before he succumbed to cancer. Gelbart died on Friday at his Beverly Hill home. He was 81.

But that doesn't begin to tell the story of Gelbart's life. Fortunately, Gelbart shared much of his life with us through interviews. He spoke most recently about his life as a comedy writer to Mike Sacks for his book, And Here's the Kicker. Sacks agreed to post the full interview over on A Special Thing's message boards. You can see and hear Gelbart talk about his life and career in full detail — more than three hours worth — thanks to a 1998 interview by the Archive of American Television. Here is the first half-hour:

For more of this archived interview…

Larry Gelbart interview: Part Two  Larry Gelbart interview: Part Six

Larry Gelbart interview: Part Three Larry Gelbart interview: Part Seven

Larry Gelbart interview: Part Four Larry Gelbart interview: Part Eight

Larry Gelbart interview: Part Five