Comedian, Emmy-winning writer Tom Davis dies

Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:35pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Davis, who along with Al Franken formed the comedy duo "Franken and Davis" and went on to write for "Saturday Night Live" and win four Emmy Awards, died on Thursday at age 59.

Davis died of throat and neck cancer, his wife Mimi Raleigh told the New York Times.

He grew up in Minnesota where he met Franken, and the two formed a comedy duo when they were both teenagers. He wrote for "Saturday Night Live" from 1975 to 2003, and famously shared a writing salary with Franken when he first joined the show.

One of the recurring sketches Davis helped create on the show was "Theodoric of York." It starred Steve Martin and was about a barber surgeon who relied on bloodletting to cure any ailment.

Davis also worked on SNL's popular "Conehead" sketches about a family of aliens living in the United States who famously consumed "mass quantities" of beer and cigarettes. Davis co-wrote the 1993 film adaptation along with Dan Aykroyd, who starred as the alien father "Beldar" in both the SNL skits and the film.

Aside from the three Emmy Awards he won for his writing work on "Saturday Night Live" and one for "The Paul Simon Special" in 1977, Davis was also nominated for another nine Emmy Awards.

Davis died at his home in Hudson, New York, according to the newspaper.

Franken, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 to represent Minnesota after a long career in show business, remembered Davis as "a great friend, a good man, and so funny" and he called his death "a sad day for all of us who loved Tom."

In a statement, Franken said he had spoken with Davis' mother on Thursday "and she recalled fondly all the laughter that would come from the basement when Tom and I first got started in comedy."   Continued...