AP reports that A spokesman for the family of comedian David Brenner says the “Tonight Show” favorite has died. He was 78.
He died Saturday afternoon at his home in New York City, said Jeff Abraham, who was Brenner’s publicist. He was considered the father of observational comedy, a form of humor that relied on impromptu quips rather than canned jokes.
A few notes from his Wikipedia entry stand out, including the fact that he holds the record for appearances — 158 — on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” He also had a gift for communication which apparently led him to be assigned as a cryptographer while in the army and his college course choices:After high school, he largely hung out on the street corners for two years, followed by two years in the army, serving in the 101st Airborne and as a cryptographer of the 595th Signal Corp in Boblingen, Germany. After being discharged, he attended Temple University where he majored in mass communication, graduating with honors.
His stand-up routine was vibrant and he was still working last December, including a New Year’s Eve show at a casino-resort in King of Prussia, PA, and was a constant presence on the talk-show circuit:Brenner was ranked No. 53 on “Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.” At one point, he had appeared more often on major TV Talk Shows than any other entertainer.
His family life left something to be desired with two divorces and multiple custody battles, but despite Hollywood and the delusion of romanticism, he was dedicated to his children:
Brenner had three children named Slade, Wyatt and Cole. He and the mother of his first son, Cole, fought a custody battle lasting several years in The Supreme Court of New York. Brenner finally won custody in 1992.
Brenner married Elizabeth Slater of New York, the mother of his sons Slade and Wyatt, in the closing minutes of his “Live from The Venetian Hotel” show in Las Vegas on February 19, 2000. They divorced a little over a year later and fought two custody battles, both of which Brenner won.
Brenner is also survived by his third wife, figure skater Tai Babilonia, whom he married on March 7, 2011.
Brenner was a star,” comic Richard Lewis tweeted. “The king of ‘hip, observational comedy.’ Mentored me. He was family. This leaves an irreplaceable hole.”http://www.catholicismusa.com/david-brenner-father-of-observational-comedy-dies-at-78/