Do any of you know who Tom Davis is? He dead.

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by gwartney, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. gwartney

    gwartney Unafilliated Gold

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    Maybe Franken and Davis rings a bell?

    This really is RIP funnyman. :sad:

    In 2004, contestants on “Jeopardy!†were stumped by the clue “He was the comedy partner of Al Franken.â€

    Tom Davis, that comedy partner, sighed as he watched. He was so inured to being second fiddle to Mr. Franken, now a Democratic senator from Minnesota, that he called himself Sonny to Mr. Franken’s Cher.

    But the fact is that Mr. Davis helped shape Mr. Franken’s comedy, and vice versa, from the time they entertained students with rebellious, razor-edged humor at high school assemblies in Minnesota.

    In 1975, Mr. Davis, brilliant at improvisational comedy, and Mr. Franken, a whiz at plotting funny sequences, became two of the first writers on a new show called “Saturday Night Live,†which has lasted 37 years. (The two should actually be called one of the show’s first writers: they accepted a single salary of $350 a week. Each, singly, was called “the guys.â€)

    Mr. Davis never lost the quirky, original voice that helped shape the show, and in his last months he referred to death as “deanimation.†He deanimated on Thursday at his home in Hudson, N.Y., at age 59. The cause was throat and neck cancer, his wife, Mimi Raleigh, said.

    With Mr. Franken and others, Mr. Davis helped create the clan of extraterrestrials known as the Coneheads, who attributed their peculiarities to having come from France. He and Dan Aykroyd collaborated on Mr. Aykroyd’s impersonation of Julia Child, in which the television chef cuts herself and bleeds to death after grabbing a phone to dial 911, only to find it’s a prop. Her last words: “Bon appétit!â€

    In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Aykroyd spoke of Mr. Davis’s “massive contribution†to the show, characterizing him as “very disciplined†and able to herd less focused writers toward something concrete. “There was no frivolous waste of time,†he said.

    Mr. Davis was present at the creation of Irwin Mainway (played by Mr. Aykroyd), head of a company that made “Bag o’ Glass†and other dangerous toys. He midwifed Theodoric of York, a medieval barber-surgeon played by the guest host Steve Martin, who believed bloodletting cured everything. A famous sketch about a drunken President Richard M. Nixon stumbling around the White House conversing with past presidents’ portraits and spouting anti-Semitism? Mr. Davis and Mr. Franken wrote it.

    They flirted with the margins of taste: a sketch about the Holocaust was rejected, but others about child abuse and the murder of lesbians made it onto the air.

    In the early years of “Saturday Night Live,†Mr. Davis and Mr. Franken also appeared as a comic duo. One routine was “The Brain Tumor Comedian,†in which Mr. Franken, his head bandaged, tried to tell jokes but kept forgetting the punch line. Mr. Davis fought tears as he implored the audience to applaud.

    Mr. Davis shared three Emmys for his writing on the show and another for “The Paul Simon Special†in 1977.

    Thomas James Davis was born in Minneapolis on Aug. 13, 1952, and attended the private Blake School, where he and Mr. Franken bonded over comedians like Jack Benny and Bob and Ray. Their announcements of school events at the morning assembly were peppered with sarcasm, and soon they were performing at a local comedy club.

    After graduating, Mr. Franken headed for Harvard, while Mr. Davis chose the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., because, he said, he had heard that it had a foreign study program in India, where he hoped to smoke opium. (They did, and he did.)

    After a year of college, Mr. Davis returned to Minneapolis to work in improvisational comedy. And after Mr. Franken graduated from Harvard, the two convened in Los Angeles to do stand-up and caught the attention of Lorne Michaels, the creator of “Saturday Night Live.†He summoned them to New York, where he negotiated with the writers’ union to offer the two a single apprentice job.

    In a recent interview, Senator Franken said he and Mr. Davis had complemented each other, Mr. Davis bringing his improvisational experience to the act while Mr. Franken was adept at structuring a routine. Mr. Davis’s humor had a sardonic, even cynical, sting, he said, but retained “sweetness and a Minnesota outlook.â€

    Mr. Davis lived a defiantly unconventional life. In his 2009 memoir, “Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There,†he wrote that he first did LSD while watching “2001: A Space Odyssey†at a Minneapolis drive-in. At the peak of the Vietnam War, he decided to join the Marines, he said, then decided against it after undergoing a revolution in consciousness at a Jimi Hendrix concert.

    Mr. Davis worked for “Saturday Night Live†from 1975 to 1980, and again from 1986 to 1994. In addition to writing, he produced shows in his second stint. He also collaborated with Mr. Aykroyd and Bonnie and Terry Turner to write “Coneheads†(1993). (The “Conehead†characters, he wrote in his memoir, were inspired by a trip Mr. Davis and Mr. Aykroyd took to Easter Island, famous for its towering stone statues.) With Mr. Franken he starred in the film “One More Saturday Night†(1986).

    Mr. Davis retired in the mid-1990s but returned to “SNL†as a writer as recently as 2003.

    He and Mr. Franken were so close that Mr. Franken named his daughter Thomasin Davis. But the two broke up as a team in 1990 as Mr. Franken tired of his friend’s drug abuse. They reconciled a decade later, and Mr. Davis obliged his friend by publishing his all-too-candid autobiography only after Senator Franken was elected. In his book, Mr. Davis wrote, “I love Al as I do my brother, whom I also don’t see very much.â€

    In addition to his wife and his brother, Robert, Mr. Davis is survived by his mother, Jean Davis.

    In his last two years, Mr. Davis helped a friend write a book about Owsley Stanley, famed for handling sound for the Grateful Dead and supplying the group with LSD. He searched out objects like old barn doors and stones with which to maklarge sculptures. And he worked with Mr. Aykroyd on a script for a possible “Ghostbusters III†film.

    As in his comedy, Mr. Davis said, “I’m improvising.â€
     
  2. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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  3. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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  4. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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  5. Jake Dog

    Jake Dog Well-Known Member VIP

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  6. gwartney

    gwartney Unafilliated Gold

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    Have some respect for the dead.
     
  7. Pstruct

    Pstruct New Member Banned User

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    Damn that looks good.
     
  8. Motoflou

    Motoflou New Member

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    How did he died?
     
  9. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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    But I'm having homemade fried chicken tonight!!! :dancin:
     
  10. Motoflou

    Motoflou New Member

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    oh nevermind, I had to read the fucking article.

    Still never heard of Tom Davis, though.
     
  11. P-B

    P-B Honourary Canuck Gold

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    [​IMG]

    Never mind
     
  12. gwartney

    gwartney Unafilliated Gold

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    Those pictures are making my stomach grumble.
     
  13. Motoflou

    Motoflou New Member

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    Fuck Tom Davis
     
  14. P-B

    P-B Honourary Canuck Gold

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    He deeply respects those dead chickens.

    Stalker chick coming over?
     
  15. gwartney

    gwartney Unafilliated Gold

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    He's a fellow Minnesotan. Why you no like him?
     
  16. Mark Mayonnaise

    Mark Mayonnaise You look like a tree! VIP

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    How would I know :chair:

    Won't be there though

    Going to the folks' to watch a movie :c
     
  17. P-B

    P-B Honourary Canuck Gold

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    :cheer:

    Maybe your mom bought you some new socks!
     
  18. wanker

    wanker New Member

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    picture it

    summer of "78, my parents had taken me to newyork city for vacation

    we had tix for saturday night live when frank zappa guest hosted

    well sir Franken and davis were on that night, so yea i know who he was

    also got to see belushi, murray, and rest of cast on show..cone head skit wooot:cheer::cool:
     
  19. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP

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    bored to death reading this thread.
     
  20. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    I'm Uber-jelly....I feel lucky just to have watched the original cast on TV, when they were live, new shows.....