Legendary Comedian & Tonight Show Guest David Brenner Dies at 78
Legendary stand-up comedian and long time Tonight Show favorite, David Brenner has passed away at the age of 78 on Saturday, March 15th after a battle with cancer. According to the comic's official web site Brenner died peacefully at his home in New York City surrounded by his family at his side.
In Brenner's final request he asked that one hundred dollars in small bills be placed in his left sock, "just in case tipping is recommended where I'm going."
Brenner was a writer, director or producer of 115 television documentaries and headed the documentary units of Westinghouse Broadcasting andMetromedia, winning nearly 30 awards including an Emmy, before moving to comedy.
After making his national television debut in 1971, on the The Tonight Show, he became the show's most frequent guest, with 158 appearances. He guest-hosted for Johnny Carson 75 times between 1975 and 1984, putting him fifth on the list of Carson's favorite and most frequent guest hosts.
Brenner released the comedy album Excuse Me, Are You Reading That Paper? on MCA Records in 1983. He has also written five books including Soft Pretzels With Mustard (1983), Revenge is the Best Exercise(1984), Nobody Ever Sees You Eat Tuna Fish (1986), If God Wanted Us to Travel... (1990), and I Think There's a Terrorist in My Soup: How to Survive Personal and World Problems with Laughter--Seriously (2003) which was also released as two audiobooks.
In 1986, King World Entertainment gave Brenner his own 30-minute Syndicated late-night talk show, Nightlife , in an attempt to compete with Carson, but it was cancelled after one season. The show premiered September 8, 1986, on 102 stations.
In addition to the Tonight Show, Brenner also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The David Frost Show, The Mike Douglas Show, Late Night and the Late Show With David Letterman, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Daily Show and was a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show.