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The finger of fate was never fickle to George Schlatter

The finger of fate was never fickle to George Schlatter

Award-winning producer-writer-director George Schlatter is a kind of P.T. Barnum of the small screen.

An innovative showman, the 81-year-old Schlatter turned the comedy genre on its head with the hip, groundbreaking series "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1968-73) and helped usher in the reality show format with "Real People" (1979-84)

But that's not all, folks. He also created the "American Comedy Awards," produced countless TV specials, including "A Party for Richard Pryor" and "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way," and earned more than a few honors for his work, including Emmys and Golden Globes.

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