Alan Spencer

Alan Spencer

:"For the English cricketer, please see Alan Spencer (cricketer)."Alan Spencer is an American television writer and producer, best known for creating the 1980s satirical police series "Sledge Hammer!". He began writing for television at the age of fifteen, and was one of the youngest people ever to join the Writers Guild of America. He is commonly consulted as a "script doctor" for feature films.


Spencer, at the age of fourteen, sneaked into Twentieth Century Fox Studios and onto the set of Young Frankenstein to watch his hero Mel Brooks direct. Marty Feldman, who had a fondness for mischief, recognized that the young interloper didn't belong and took Spencer under his wing as his "guest."

Spencer was a huge fan of Feldman's and knew comedian's writing credits for British television, a rarity, as most Americans weren't well versed in Feldman's versatility, and the normally private Feldman recognized Spencer as a kindred spirit. Feldman had also began writing at the young age of fifteen.

Amazingly, nearly two decades later, no less than Mel Brooks would tap Spencer to co-create the shortlived NBC sitcom The Nutt House with him after the success of Spencer's "Sledge Hammer!" Brooks had no idea that Alan Spencer was the same young kid who had been buzzing around the set of "Young Frankenstein."

Marty Feldman later died of a heart attack while making the film Yellowbeard , and on May 16, 1984, Alan Spencer lost another friend: the legendary and offbeat comedian Andy Kaufman. Kaufman once invited Spencer over to his home and subjected him to a marathon of forty eight hours of "The People's Court", a series that Kaufman religiously recorded. The one-two punch of losing both his friends devastated Spencer. He vowed to honor their influences and do unconventional work.

After the worldwide success of his television series "Sledge Hammer!" Spencer was tapped to write and direct his own film for Columbia Pictures called Hexed. Spencer wasn't accorded the same level of creative control he had on his signature series and, thanks to a subsequent regime change at the studio, the film was recut after a handful of successful previews. The DVD release of "Hexed" is not the original director's cut which Spencer claims "probably only exists in a dumpster outside Denny's."

Despite being called one of "the nation's nobler madcaps" by Washington Post critic Tom Shales, Spencer has a serious side as well. He wrote a two hour science fiction MOW entitled The Tomorrow Man starring Julian Sands that had an ecological theme. In his spare time, Spencer raises money for local missions in the LA area who assist the homeless. He's also devoted to aiding cancer research.

Spencer is a close friend of famed actress Tracy Scoggins. While they've attended various social functions together, Spencer insists they're "just imaginary friends."

According to the magazine Creative Screenwriting, Spencer has anonymously rewritten a few films that have grossed over one hundred million and his prowess has actually gotten more than one its greenlight. He was profiled in an article entitled "The Craft of Rewriting" alongside such notables as Scott Frank, Kenneth Lonergan and Ed Solomon as being one of the best "script doctors" in the business. Spencer has stated that being included in that company was a career highlight.


When Spencer met Rodney Dangerfield, he informed the comedian he'd sold him jokes through the mail while being only fifteen. Dangerfield's response was: "I remember. I said these look like they were written by a fifteen year old."

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