Mark "Babaloo" Mandel and his partner Lowell Ganz are responsible for writing some of the most popular comedies in contemporary American cinema. They met in a Hollywood comedy club where Mandel worked as a gag writer. Ganz was also working as a writer on the TV comedy The Odd Couple. They found they had a lot in common: both were from New York, and both idolized Billy Wilder. It was Ganz who suggested they team up to write for popular television sitcoms such as Laverne and Shirley; it was Laverne, actress Penny Marshall, who later directed one of their most popular hits, A League of Their Own (1992). They made their feature film debut with the black comedy Night Shift (1982). The stories they tell, such as the Oscar-nominated Splash (1984), are easily recognizable for their strong narrative structure and full bodied characterizations. Mandel is also notable as being a master of hardhitting punchlines.