The director and writer Hal Kanter, who has died aged 92, was one of the great wits of Hollywood. He made his reputation as one of Bob Hope's principal writers, and for many years scripted the annual Oscar ceremonies (he shared Emmy awards in 1991 and 1992 for his work on the shows). He was also a huge influence on writers who followed him. He ended his 1999 autobiography, So Far, So Funny, with this: "If any of my work over the past 60 years has inspired, encouraged or motivated any young person to write comedy for radio, motion pictures or television, I apologise."
He wrote or co-wrote films including Once Upon a Horse ... (1958) for Rowan and Martin; The Road to Bali (1952) for Hope and Bing Crosby; Move Over, Darling (1963), starring Doris Day; and Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles