Comedian David Brenner dies at 78


Comedian David Brenner performs in Philadelphia in 2010. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) Video by Getty Videos

Comedian David Brenner dies at 78

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Mar 15, 2014

Stand-up comedian David Brenner died Saturday from cancer at his home in New York City. He was 78. 

Brenner was a favorite of “The Tonight Show” during the Johnny Carson era, and is estimated to have appeared as a guest on the show 158 times, possibly more than any other guest in history, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which says Brenner “perfected the art of observational comedy.” He also guest-hosted the show on “a handful” of other occasions when Carson was on vacation.
After writing, directing and producing 115 TV documentaries as the head of the documentary departments at Westinghouse Broadcasting and Metromedia Broadcasting, Brenner made a career change, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He did his first paid stand-up gig at the Improv in New York in 1969. He made his debut on “The Tonight Show” less than two years later.
He wrote five books, including 2003's “I Think There's a Terrorist in My Soup: How to Survive Personal and World Problems With Laughter -- Seriously,” according to THR.
His publicist said Brenner, as a final request, "asked that $100 in small bills be placed in his left sock 'just in case tipping is recommended where I'm going.' His final resting spot will read, 'If this is supposed to be a joke -- then I don't get it!'"
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Scripps Media.