Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Memoriam: David Brenner 1936-2014

Comedian.

"I'm supposed to end with a joke. But for the first time in my career, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to end by telling you that I learned tonight that if you can laugh, you can live. And that means we are going to get through this."

Brenner said the above to a half-empty room at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas on September 11, 2001. He got a standing ovation.




His comedic heyday, however, was the 1970s, as evidenced by the above picture.




A favorite of Johnny Carson, he appeared on The Tonight Show, both as guest and substitute host, over 150 times.



 



Did you ever notice David Brenner says "Did you ever notice" a lot? I think he may have popularized the phrase!






10 comments:

  1. One of my early favorites, he was. (Better check the date on that opening comment though. September 11, 2014?)

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out, notacynic. I changed it.

      I don't want people to think I'm Nostrodamus or anything.

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  2. I remembering seeing him on the Johnny Carson Show and he was a favorite.
    Don't watch the Late Night shows anymore so I don't follow who is on or not.
    I always thought he was funny.
    I agree about the ... if you can laugh you can live.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Brenner briefly had a late night show himself in the 1980s, parsnip. Carson didn't hold it against him the way he did Joan Rivers. Probably because Brenner let him know beforehand.

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  3. I always enjoyed him too. I think I saw his first appearance on The Tonight Show. Seeing that again made me miss Johnny. I love that he called him slightly warped.

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  4. I found Johnny's warped comment kind of warped itself. Warped is how I would describe Andy Kaufman, not David Brenner. Maybe observational comedy, which Brenner excelled at, was so new in 1971, that warped was the only the way the talk show host could think of describing it.

    I miss, Johnny, too, Kass. I just read a not-too-flattering biography of him, and I STILL missed him!

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  5. There are some people I don't want to know the whole truth about. When Heather Mills "told all" about Paul McCartney it was not well-received. Come on, we're talking about SIR PAUL!!!......same with JOHNNY.

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    1. Kass, I personally don't have a problem with warts-and-all biographies. In fact, I see little reason to read a biography unless it tells all the truth that is knowable. It's just that once I'm a fan of somebody's work, it takes some sort of revelation short of murder to make me not a fan. Also, I'm calling myself "fan" for want of a better word. I think slavishly worshipping celebrities is unhealthy. I just want to appreciate their talent, but not necessarily bow down to them, or even buy them a beer.

      Sometime in the future--can't say when--I plan to do a post on Lennon and McCartney and the ups and downs of their work relationship.

      Um...it might be warts and all...

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    2. Have you read the newish Beatles book? The one by Mark Lewisohn? 803 pages and he only gets them to the end of 1962. Couple tidbits in there I could have done without, actually. ; )

      But a great read. He really dug into the subject.

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    3. Haven't read the book, notacynic. 803 pages and only up to 1962?

      Sure Mark Lewishon isn't Robert Caro's alias?

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