Comedian David Brenner sadly dies at age 78

Mar 17, 2014 at 8:04 a.m. ET

A bright light in comedy has sadly burned out. Comedic extraordinaire David Brenner passes away after losing his battle with cancer.

Comedian David Brenner dies from cancer aged 78
Photo credit: DJDM/

The world received some sad news over the weekend — one of the comedic greats, David Brenner, has sadly passed away at age 78.

The Waltons star Ralph Waite dies at 85 >>

According to Us Weekly, Brenner's rep Jeff Abraham confirmed the sad news in a statement, saying, "Legendary stand-up comedian and long time Tonight Show favorite, David Brenner, passed away at the age of 78 after a courageous battle with his final dragon, cancer."

"Brenner died peacefully at his home in NYC surrounded by his family at his side. David is survived by his wife, Ruth, his three sons, Cole, Wyatt, Slade and his grandson, Wesley."

Camera assistant Sarah Jones killed by train while filming >>

And although the bright light that was Brenner has sadly burned out, he ensured that even in his passing he would have the last laugh.

Brenner asked for $100 in small bills to be placed in his left sock, "just in case tipping is recommended where I'm going," Us Weekly reports. And his gravestone will apparently read, "If this is supposed to be a joke — then I don't get it!"

The funny man made his debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1962 and became one of the show's most popular guests. He appeared on more than 150 episodes — far more than anyone else! However, Brenner was a man of many talents. He also wrote five books, had steady comedy gigs, starred in the 1976 TV series Snip and appeared in the romantic comedy Worth Winning.

Brenner will be sorely missed by many, and other comedians have shown their respect and expressed their condolences for their fallen idol.

"RIP David Brenner. I adored him, and laughed more with him than anyone," Joan Rivers tweeted. "Sad, sad, sad. Knowing David, he's now making the devil laugh."


VIDEO: Steve Irwin's last words revealed >>

Upon hearing the sad news of Brenner's passing, comedian and actor Richard Lewis released a statement to USA Today, saying, "David Brenner was a huge star when I met him and he took me under his wing. To me, historically, he was the godfather of hip, observational comedy. He mentored me from day one. ... His passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be replaced."

Our thoughts are with Brenner's family, friends and all those who loved him during this sad time.