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SNL writer Tom Davis, RIP
July 20, 2012 5:54 AM   Subscribe

Comedy writing parter to Sen. Al Franken (the two went to high school together and shared an apprenticeship salary when first hired by Lorne Michaels as two of the first writers for Saturday Night Live), Tom Davis has died at 59 from throat cancer. In 2009 he published his memoir of those years, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss.
posted by aught (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by Roentgen at 5:55 AM on July 20, 2012


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on July 20, 2012


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posted by Gelatin at 6:03 AM on July 20, 2012


My clearest memory of Franken and Davis is as the dimwitted gorilla handlers in Trading Places.
posted by Gelatin at 6:05 AM on July 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by Edison Carter at 6:10 AM on July 20, 2012


I read his book a few years ago. I knew they did a lot of drugs back then but I was still amazed at how casual it all was. "...and then we ran into Jerry Garcia, who gave us some acid, and then Mick Jagger showed up with some cocaine..."

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posted by bondcliff at 6:13 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:16 AM on July 20, 2012


Davis was the funny one. RIP.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 6:28 AM on July 20, 2012


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posted by koucha at 6:32 AM on July 20, 2012


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posted by Halloween Jack at 6:41 AM on July 20, 2012


I am sorry to hear this. I read 39YOSTML a few months ago and while I wouldn't say he was "the funny one," I think he was pretty talented and never really got his due.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:49 AM on July 20, 2012



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posted by blurker at 6:55 AM on July 20, 2012


Davis was a riot. When I was growing up, he was responsible for so many laughs escaping my pie-hole.

I've reached an age where 59 no longer seems old whatsoever; it just seems so goddamn young.
posted by item at 7:01 AM on July 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:04 AM on July 20, 2012


Sad. He was the best Keith Richards ever.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:06 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


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It took me like 20 seconds to parse what this was trying to say.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:13 AM on July 20, 2012


Shit.
posted by pracowity at 7:16 AM on July 20, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 7:30 AM on July 20, 2012


Talented man gone too soon.

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posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:32 AM on July 20, 2012


punkfloyd: Sad. He was the best Keith Richards ever.
What amazes me is that they got the real Mick Jagger to perform alongside him. Franken should have had some role, though.

Rest now, funny man. Thanks for the laughs.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:44 AM on July 20, 2012


Tom Davis addresses the Berkeley Arts and Letters, 2009.
posted by crunchland at 7:46 AM on July 20, 2012


Oh, that's sad. I read and enjoyed his memoir (and also boggled at the sheer volume of drugs he got through!)

I still remember my favorite Franken and Davis sketch, which inverted Native and European stereotypes in the US, including a scene from "the 1950s hit movie, Dumb Swedes on the Warpath."
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:30 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always loved the Franken & Davis sketches when I was a kid (and I have to admit I had a little crush on him as well). But hell, if the only thing he'd ever written was Dan Ackroyd's Julia Child sketch, he'd still be aces in my book.

I haven't read his memoir, so thanks to everyone in the thread who mentioned it -- it's going in my library queue today.
posted by scody at 8:49 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


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and #fuckcancer
posted by liza at 8:53 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by fungible at 9:14 AM on July 20, 2012


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Also, here's an interview that he did on the the local sports talk channel's evening rushhour show.
posted by mfu at 9:29 AM on July 20, 2012


Um, IAmBroom...that's not Jagger.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:41 AM on July 20, 2012


Um, IAmBroom...that's not Jagger.

I suspect a very dry vintage of humor in IAmBroom's remark.

It took me like 20 seconds to parse what this was trying to say.

Sorry, I have a tendency to go off on tangents in the midst of sentences and I didn't go back and re-write my post to be more linear as I often have to do with thread comments (and my own other non- MeFi writings; this is why I am a poet and not an essayist).
posted by aught at 10:46 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I loved Franken and Davis when I was a kid. I last heard them when Tom played a "full-blood Cherokee" talking about creationism on Al's Air America show (the PTLTGIF Club sketch).

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posted by jabo at 10:49 AM on July 20, 2012


So sad. I saw this last night. I always appreciated the subversive nature of his humor, and not just that it was funny.

And if you haven't seen it, you should watch this sketch he did for "interstitial" material for the Grateful Dead's 1987 New Year's Eve broadcast:

Jerry's Backstage Kitchen SLYT

Yeah, F&D could be bombastic in their humor, but as the above shows Davis could also be subtle when the situation warranted it.

RIP.

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posted by mosk at 11:04 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah aught. at first it really looked like jagger...until the closeups revealed it was actually the senator. great impersonation-definitely had the moves.
posted by HyperBlue at 11:43 AM on July 20, 2012


Tom Davis's best SNL sketches
posted by scody at 11:54 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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"the most unfunny thing in the world" indeed. #fuckcancer
posted by luckynerd at 5:42 PM on July 20, 2012


I heard him read a year or so ago. His Al Franken, was, unsurprisingly, superlative. He told a story about going up to a Lake Up North (there's a lot of them in Minnesota) and getting high. Then they ran into a cop. And before the cop says anything, Franken bust out with something like "I swear, officer, he was alive when we left him."

He seemed like a fun guy with a great sense of humor, and he was a superb sketch comedy writer. RIP.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:18 PM on July 20, 2012


mosk: "So sad. I saw this last night. I always appreciated the subversive nature of his humor, and not just that it was funny.

And if you haven't seen it, you should watch this sketch he did for "interstitial" material for the Grateful Dead's 1987 New Year's Eve broadcast:

Jerry's Backstage Kitchen SLYT

Yeah, F&D could be bombastic in their humor, but as the above shows Davis could also be subtle when the situation warranted it.

RIP.
"

This video is awesome. Of course it highlights Davis' humor and writing, but Jerry is pretty amazing in the video playing along with the joke, memorizing his lines and being pretty funny too. I was surprised to see Jerry do so well with wearing an apron, a chef hat and using an oven mitt.

Thanks for pointing out this video both from the Tom Davis point of view and from the Jerry one too.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:08 PM on July 20, 2012


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posted by Splunge at 3:13 PM on July 21, 2012


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posted by klausness at 8:36 AM on July 23, 2012


Al Franken Eulogizes Writing Partner Tom Davis On Senate Floor
posted by zombieflanders at 5:09 PM on July 25, 2012


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