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Baby boomers lose another comedic icon to cancer, David Brenner dies at 78

Baby boomers are learning today that David Brenner, a comic that appeared on talk and game shows between presentations of his standup act, died Saturday from cancer.

Comedian David Brenner performs at the Gala Concert where his friend, Bill Cosby, Ed.D. was presented with the Marian Anderson Award April 6, 2010, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

His big break came on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on January 8, 1971, according to IMDb. He would go on to a record-setting 158 total appearances on The Tonight Show in addition to appearances on other talk and variety shows.

His humor centered on everyday situations much as if he was a forerunner to Jerry Steinberg. In fact it is first nationally televised appearance on The Tonight Show his routine pointed out that men never ask for directions. You can see his first appearance on The Tonight Show by clicking here.

Other examples included his insight into finding lost things.

“Why do people say it was in the last place I looked?” Brenner lamented, “Who finds something and then keeps looking?”

He once remarked that someone came up to him on the New York subway commenting on the newspaper upon which Brenner was sitting.

“Are you reading that?” the man asked him. He says he informed the man that yes he was in fact reading it, stood up to turn the page and sat back down again.

Brenner’s humor also helped shape the baby boomer generation with practical advice. Brenner said that if someone were making a man on a telephone conversation all you had to do was to start ranting back at them and hang up in the middle of one of your sentences. He pointed out, “who would ever believe young up on yourself?”

Brenner is one of the comedians featured in the book “A Ph.D. In Happiness from the Great Comedians” by Tommy Moore, which also features the Detroit great Soupy Sales.

Learn more about the baby boomer generation by clicking here.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

Learn more about today’s generations:

  • Builders / traditionalists, also known as the greatest generation, born before 1944
  • Baby boomers, sometimes relabeled the sandwich generation, born between 1943 and 1964
  • Generation X, born between 1961 and 1980
  • Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the millennial generation, born between 1977 and 2000
  • Millennials, sometimes referred to as generation Z, born after 1998

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