David A. Arnold, a comedian, writer, and showrunner best known for his two Netflix specials, being a writer and producer on Netflix’s Fuller House, and for creating the Nickelodeon series That Girl Lay Lay, died on August 7, according to Deadline. He was 54. A statement issued by Arnold’s family attributed the death to natural causes. “It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our husband, father, brother and friend, David A. Arnold,” it reads. “David passed away peacefully today in his home and doctors have ruled the cause of death due to natural causes. Please keep our family in prayer and respect our privacy at this time, as we are all shocked and devastated by this loss.”
Arnold’s second Netflix special, It Ain’t for the Weak, debuted recently on July 19 following the release of David A. Arnold: Fat Ballerina in 2019. In addition to being an accomplished stand-up, Arnold wrote for a number of comedy series, including TBS’s Meet the Browns, OWN’s Raising Whitley, TBS’s Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and more. As the creator and executive producer of That Girl Lay Lay, he was one of only a few Black showrunners in television.
Tributes from fans and the comedy community have been pouring in since the news of Arnold’s death, with everyone from SNL’s Chris Redd to Arnold’s Fuller House co-worker Dave Coulier expressing their condolences on Twitter. Beyond the comedy community, Arnold will be remembered by his wife, Julie L. Harkness, and two children, Anna-Grace and Ashlyn.