Back in March, when comedian David Brenner died at the age of 78, we posted one of his stand-up comedy monologues on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. That routine has since been removed from YouTube, so we thought we'd share another one of his appearances with you.
As we wrote in March,
According to Wikipedia, Brenner was born to Jewish parents in 1936 and raised in poor areas of South and West Philadelphia. His father, Louis, was a vaudeville comedian, singer and dancer performing under the stage name of Lou Murphy, who gave up his career and a film contract in order to please Brenner's grandfather, a rabbi, who objected to his working on Shabbat.
As David Colker reported in the Los Angeles Times,
In recent years he played casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the country, and he took a light-hearted look at social and political issues on venues as divergent as MSNBC and the Fox News Channel.In today's post, aired in 1983, Brenner reflected on a recent massive recall of General Motors automobiles, differences beween American and Japanese cars, truck drivers, acupuncture, doctors, and the mating of bald eagles.
One of his most memorable performances was at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas on Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks. Though the room was half-empty, Brenner went on with the show. At the finish he told the audience, according to a 2002 article in the St. Petersburg Times, "I'm supposed to end with a joke. But for the first time in my career, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to end by telling you that I learned tonight that if you can laugh, you can live. And that means we are going to get through this." He got a standing ovation.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)