In Oh, God!, director Carl Reiner and screenwriter Larry Gelbart avoid one-note redundancy by trading broad laughs for warm-hearted sentimentality. The movie's surprising charm owes a lot to the understated comic timing and charisma of vaudeville legend George Burns in the title role. Burns had removed himself from the public eye after his partner/wife Gracie Allen's retirement in 1958; he reappeared in 1975's successful The Sunshine Boys, for which he won an Oscar. Oh, God! continued his comeback streak. In his first movie role, singer John Denver had a natural, unforced presence that drew positive notices, but he would never again star in a major motion picture. Gelbart had worked with Reiner on Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, and he would go on to write the screenplay for Tootsie. Despite its potentially controversial nature, Oh, God! was a significant hit, and would spawn two mediocre sequels.