Comedian David Brenner, 'Tonight' favorite, dies - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Comedian David Brenner, 'Tonight' favorite, dies

Posted: Updated:
In this Sept. 24, 1986 file photo, comedian David Brenner hosts avant garde fusion musician Frank Zappa, center, and his children, Dweezil, left, and Moon Unit, during a taping of Brenner's "Nightlife" talk show in New York. In this Sept. 24, 1986 file photo, comedian David Brenner hosts avant garde fusion musician Frank Zappa, center, and his children, Dweezil, left, and Moon Unit, during a taping of Brenner's "Nightlife" talk show in New York.
This July 13, 1977 file photo shows comedian David Brenner. On Saturday, March 15, 2014, publicist Jeff Abraham announced Brenner has died at the age of 78. (AP Photo) This July 13, 1977 file photo shows comedian David Brenner. On Saturday, March 15, 2014, publicist Jeff Abraham announced Brenner has died at the age of 78. (AP Photo)

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • <div style="font-weight:bolder;font-size:22px;">ENTERTAINMENT <a href ="/Global/category.asp?C=154659" style="font-size:12px;padding-left:80px;">more entertainment &raquo;</a></div>EntertainmentMore>>

  • Forward-thinking U2 innovating while entertaining

    Forward-thinking U2 innovating while entertaining

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:51:34 GMT
    By CHRIS TALBOTT AP Music Writer Since U2 stunned the music world by delivering a surprise album at Apple's iPhone 6 unveiling and making it available to a half-billion iTunes users for free,... 
    By CHRIS TALBOTT AP Music Writer Since U2 stunned the music world by delivering a surprise album at Apple's iPhone 6 unveiling and making it available to a half-billion iTunes users for free,... 
  • Police: Protocol followed in detention of actress

    Police: Protocol followed in detention of actress

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:02:42 GMT
    Police say they followed proper protocol when they demanded identification from an actress and her boyfriend while investigating a 911 call alleging lewd conduct. 
    Police said Monday they followed proper protocol when they demanded identification from an actress and her boyfriend while investigating a 911 call alleging lewd conduct in a parked car. 
  • Gamers use police hoax to lash out at opponents

    Gamers use police hoax to lash out at opponents

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:42:23 GMT
    Authorities are increasingly concerned about a hoax in which video game players lash out at online opponents by making fake 911 calls that send SWAT teams to their homes. 
    The calls to 911 raised an instant alarm: One caller said he shot his co-workers at a Colorado video game company and had hostages. Another in Florida said her father was drunk, wielding a machine gun and threatening their... 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.