Tributes poured in over the weekend to Larry Gelbart, best known as the creator of the M*A*S*H* TV series, who died Friday of cancer at age 81. Many of them came from fellow writers on the classic NBC variety show Caesar's Hour, a spin-off of the early hit Your Show of Shows . Mel Brooks said that Gelbart "had class, he had wit, he had style and grace. He was a marvelous writer who could do more with words than anybody I ever met." Carl Reiner told the Los Angeles Times , "He was a comedy Prodigy who developed into a national treasure. The man was one of the most gifted satirists who ever lived." And Woody Allen called him, "the best comedy writer that I ever knew." In a statement, Robert Alda, who starred in M*A*S*H*, remarked, "Larry's genius for writing changed my life because I got to speak his lines -- lines that were so good they'll be with us for a long, long time; but his other genius -- his immense talent for being good company -- is a light that's gone out and we're all sitting here in the dark."