David Brenner: The Comic Who Made Everyday Life Seem Funny

As 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 …

Peter Falk: My Last Chat With Columbo

The phone connection was terrible, but the voice was unmistakable. I don’t believe there was any voice of the past 50 years more instantly recognizable than that of Peter Falk. It was 2005, and we were discussing his new movie, The Thing About My Folks, written by and co-starring Paul Reiser. It was a slight little film-Falk played Reiser’s dad, whose wife (Olympia Dukakis) has left him. Inevitably, the conversation turned  to  Columbo, the gravel-voiced TV detective Falk played on …