Comedy writer Tom Koch, 89, who created sketches for the legendary comedy team Bob and Ray and invented a nonsensical sport called squamish, died March 22 at his California home of pulmonary failure, his son, John, told the New York Times.

Mr. Koch, who received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, began his career writing for future Today show host Dave Garroway's NBC radio program Monitor. He tired of that work, however, and was living with his wife's family in St. Louis in 1955 when Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding approached him about writing for them.

Over the next 33 years he turned out thousands of uncredited sketches for the pair. He also wrote for such television programs as The Lucy Show and My Mother the Car.

He invented squamish in 1965 for a Mad Magazine story lampooning college sports. It contained rules so complicated and silly he believed no one could really play. It developed a cult following, however. - AP