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David Brenner: The Comic Who Made Everyday Life Seem Funny

davidbrennerAs a stand-up comic, David Brenner’s trademark line was “Did you ever notice … ?”

Brenner, who died on March 15 at age 78 in New York City, made his living calling the myriad absurdities of everyday life to our attention – “the dumb things we say and do,” he once put it.

Brenner, in fact, could get an entire routine out of, say, the frustrations that drivers experience when they have to ask for directions. Here he is, doing that bit on The Tonight Show in 1971: 


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If Brenner’s style of humor seems old hat now, it might be because it was so widely copied by such comedians as Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser and Garry Shandling. “Fellow comedians never actually pilfered his jokes,” entertainment reporter David J. Spatz once observed. “They went one better:”© They stole his whole damned format.”

Though Brenner flunked his first audition for The Tonight Show, in time he became such a favorite of Johnny Carson that he frequently appeared as a substitute for him when Carson was away and racked up 158 appearances on the show. Here’s his monologue from one of his guest-host gigs in the early 1980s.  

Here are some facts about Brenner and his career:










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Here’s an interview that Brenner did with CBS News This Morning in 2013.


Photo: www.davidbrennersite.com


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