David Brenner, a comedian best known as a frequent presence on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show throughout the '70s and '80s, died in Manhattan on Saturday at 78. His longtime publicist told the New York Times that the cause was cancer. Brenner was a sort of proto-Jerry Seinfeld, making fun of the mundane and, as he put it, telling stories about "the dumb things that we say and do." In addition to guesting or hosting on The Tonight Show over 150 times, he wrote several books, did four HBO comedy specials, and was given his own late-night show, Nightlife, in 1986, though it only lasted for one season. This clip of Brenner on The Tonight Show on 1981 is a good example of why he was such a favorite of Carson's.
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