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OurPlace-Burns

Burns with Rowlf on Our Place

Jackburns

Jack Burns in the Puppetman opening

Jack Burns (1933-2020) was an American comedian, known for his teaming with Avery Schreiber as Burns and Schreiber, and one of the original writers of The Muppet Show.

Burns, with Schreiber, was a regular on the 1967 series Our Place (with Rowlf the Dog). In 1976, he served as the head writer and producer for the first season of The Muppet Show (with Schreiber appearing as a guest star). He also co-wrote The Muppet Movie (with Jerry Juhl, his successor as Muppet Show head writer). Burns appeared in the Puppetman pilot as producer Bud Stone.

Burns launched his career as part of a short-lived comedy duo with George Carlin. A later teaming with Avery Schreiber proved to be more successful, who he met when they were both members of The Second City. Burns also briefly replaced Don Knotts as the deputy on The Andy Griffith Show, playing Warren Ferguson for a portion of the sixth season (1965-1966).

After The Muppet Show, Burns worked on the sketch series Fridays as producer, announcer, and in other on and off camera capacities. Later writing credits include Dolly, America's Funniest People, and the special Happy Birthday, Bugs!: 50 Looney Years. By the 1980s, he'd moved into voice-over work, heard as one of the Crash Test Dummies in The Ad Council safety PSAs, on Animaniacs as Sid the Squid (opposite Schreiber as Beanie the Bison), and on Darkwing Duck and The Simpsons.

References[]

  • In Episode 116 of The Muppet Show, guest Avery Schreiber talks in vague terms about his partner disapproving of his banana in the ear gag, and also imitates Burns' trademark "huh". When the gag gets a positive response, he says "You see, Jack? I told you it would work!"
  • In Sesame Street Episode 4202, the male raccoon (performed by Joey Mazzarino) has a voice based on Burns and engages in several "huh? yeah." back-and-forths referencing Burns and Schreiber's taxicab routine.

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