Norman Stiles tapped for WGAE comedy nod

Scribe was head writer for 'Sesame Street'

The WGA East will give its Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence to Norman Stiles, who has spent much of his career writing for "Sesame Street." He will receive the honor at the WGA Awards New York ceremony Feb. 7 at the Hudson Theatre.

As "Sesame's" head writer, Stiles, who has won 12 Emmys, guided the writing of more than 2,000 scripts, supervising a staff of 15-20 writers, and helped to conceive and develop such characters as Elmo, Count Von Count and the Amazing Mumford. He also consulted on international co-productions of the show, authored many "Sesame Street" books and contributed to many "Sesame Street" songs.

Stiles also was a writer for "Merv Griffin's Late Night," a co-creator with Mel Brooks of "When Things Were Rotten" and a writer and executive on Norman Lear's "Fernwood 2-Night" and "America 2-Night." Additionally, he wrote for such shows as "The Captain and Tennille" and "The Bad News Bears."

In 1996, Stiles co-founded Sirius Thinking Ltd., an educational entertainment company, which created "Between the Lions," a program co-produced with WGBH designed to teach reading to children ages 4-7. He is co-creator and co-executive producer of the program as well as creator and producer of the new children's music education show "Lomax, the Hound of Music," airing on PBS.

"With his creative flair for comedy and his support of young writers as they learn the ropes of this often difficult business, Norman Stiles is a most deserving recipient of this award, named after a past guild president whose reputation as both wit and mentor is legend," WGAE president Michael Winship said.

The award is named after Herb Sargent, who was president of WGAE for 14 years until his death in 2005.