Comedian David Brenner, who made frequent appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, died Saturday. He was 78.

David Brenner Dies

Brenner passed away this weekend after a battle with cancer, according to his publicist Jeff Abraham. “Brenner died peacefully at his home in NYC surrounded by his family at his side,” Abraham told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

Throughout his career in comedy, Brenner became a favorite of Johnny Carson's. He appeared on The Tonight Show during his tenure an estimated 158 times – more than any other guest in history. He also served as a stand-in host a number of times when Carson took some time off from the late night talk show.

"Everything was perfect. You couldn't write a better scenario," Brenner said, reminiscing about his first time on The Tonight Show, according to THR. "The next day, I had $10,000 worth of job offers. I never thought this was going to turn my whole life around."

In addition to The Tonight Show, Brenner made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The David Frost Show, Late Show With David Letterman, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Daily Show. Howard Stern also frequently invited him on his radio show.

Brenner also shared his comedy with the masses in book form, writing five books during his lifetime. His last, I Think There’s Another Terrorist In My Soup, came out in 2003. He also wrote Nobody Ever Sees You Eat Tuna Fish (1986) and If God Wanted Us to Travel (1990)

According to Abraham, Brenner’s grave will read, "If this is supposed to be a joke — then I don't get it!"

Brenner is survived by his wife Ruth; sons Slade, Wyatt and Cole; and grandson Wesley.

– Chelsea Regan

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