David Brenner died today. 78. Didn’t look it.
Interesting story. He started in local TV at KYW Philadelphia. He produced filmed documentaries, many fronted by Tom Snyder. David was an Emmy Award winner for his work at 3rd and Market.
I remember him coming up as a comic through the seventies. Carson was in New York then. One shot on the Tonight Show and David Brenner had a career (see video below). The show was that powerful.
My parents, Helaine and I saw David Brenner perform in Las Vegas. Here’s part of what I wrote July 7, 2004.
After dinner, Helaine, my parents and I went to see David Brenner. He’s playing as the ‘house act’ in the David Brenner Theater at the Westin Hotel on Flamingo. The hotel is low key and subdued which is a weird juxtaposition against the small casino which sits in the center of the entry area. In design, it’s tough to have a casino look right without having over-the-top decorations. That doesn’t necessarily mean garish – though garish usually works.
Brenner was great. Helaine and I had seen him before. He’s very bright, very much in control and confident on stage. He worked a solid hour and a half and had the audience every step of the way.
It’s a small theater, and even then it was less than half full. He made a reference about 100 people, which sounded about right. With promotion and good word of mouth, this guy should be packing them in. It’s a shame. I’d see him again in a second.
He stood on stage with a thick deck of file cards. Probably not jokes, but incidents and observations to be included.
I said then, “very much in control.” How many other comedians can make that claim?
As we get older the pace at which those in our lives die, increases. David is among a blur of names from my life that have disappeared recently. That sucks.
David Brenner was a sharp wit and very funny man. I’m glad for the memories.
Brenner’s final request, according to family spokesman Jeff Abraham, was to have $100 in small bills tucked in his sock — “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”