"David Brenner, 78, the gangly, toothy-grinned ‘Tonight Show’ favorite whose brand of observational comedy became a staple for other standups, died Saturday [March 15, 2014]," reports the Associated Press.
The story continues, "Brenner, who had been fighting cancer, died peacefully at his home in New York City with his family at his side, according to Jeff Abraham, his friend and publicist."
The article adds, Brenner’s "150-plus appearances as guest and substitute host [when Johnny Carson hosted the 'Tonight Show'] turned the former documentary filmmaker into a hot comedian, one who was ubiquitous on other talk shows and game shows."
The New York Times obituary of Brenner says, "In an interview in December on ‘CBS This Morning,’ Mr. Brenner recalled how Mr. Carson once explained why he was frequently asked to perform stand-up on the show. [Carson] said, ‘Because I like to sit back, smoke a cigarette and laugh for six minutes.’"
The Times obituary adds, Brenner’s "family said in a statement on Saturday, ‘In David’s final request he asked that one hundred dollars in small bills be placed in his left sock ‘just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.’"
Here’s an undated appearance of Brenner on "The Tonight Show" that we found on YouTube. Most likely from the 1970s or 1980s: