Comedian David Brenner, 'Tonight' favorite, dies - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Comedian David Brenner, 'Tonight' favorite, dies

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - David Brenner, the gangly, toothy-grinned "Tonight Show" favorite whose brand of observational comedy became a staple for other standup comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reiser, died Saturday. He was 78.

Brenner, who had been fighting cancer, died peacefully at his home in New York City with his family at his side, according to Jeff Abraham, his friend and publicist.

"David Brenner was a huge star when I met him and he took me under his wing. To me, historically, he was the godfather of hip, observational comedy," comedian Richard Lewis said in a statement. "He mentored me from day one. ... His passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be replaced."

Brenner's standup routines became a favorite of "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson starting in the 1970s.

His 150-plus "Tonight Show" appearances turned the former documentary filmmaker into a hot comedian. Brenner was a regular on other TV talk shows and game shows and starred in four HBO comedy specials. He also briefly hosted his own syndicated talk show in 1987.

He moved with the times, trading routines about the humor of everyday life for jokes about social and political issues. He appeared on MSNBC and Fox News Channel cable programs as well as talk shows.

"David was one of the most respected and liked comedians by his peers. He was always there helping a bright young comedian, whether it be Richard Lewis, Freddie Prinze or Jimmie Walker, and he was still doing it until the very end," Abraham said.

Brenner worked steadily through 2013 doing standup. A four-day gig last December included a New Year's Eve show at a King of Prussia, Pa., casino-resort in which he showcased young comedians.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:09:43 GMT
    Police were called to the scene of a motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m. Dispatch could only tell us that a car and motorcycle were involved in the crash. We're still waiting on information about injuries.
    Police were called to the scene of a serious motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m.
  • 20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:49:06 GMT
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...
  • Authorities warn incoming students of potential campus crime

    Authorities warn incoming students of potential campus crime

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:23:42 GMT
     As college campuses welcome back thousands of students, campus police are getting ready for an increase in crime that inevitably happens each year. Authorities want to make sure students make their own safety a priority.
     As college campuses welcome back thousands of students, campus police are getting ready for an increase in crime that inevitably happens each year. Authorities want to make sure students make their own safety a priority.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!