David Brenner, the former darling of The Tonight Show, died on Saturday (15th March) at the age of 78.

His publicist, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, said "Brenner died peacefully in New York City surrounded by his friends and family." Brenner had been suffering from cancer which, according to sources speaking to TMZ, was aggressive and spreading rapidly. It seems the comedian slipped into a coma earlier this week from which he never woke up.

Originally from Philadelphia, Brenner worked in a number of professions including the army before becoming a successful comedian, actor and author. During the 1970s and 80s he guest hosted The Tonight Show in lieu of Johnny Carson and appeared on the show 158 times, earning the title of the show's most frequent guest. 

In recent years he has appeared but sporadically. His most memorable appearance of the last two decades was his HBO special David Brenner: Back With a Vengeance! During this Las Vegas appearance he married Elizabeth Slater, the mother of his two of his three sons. He had one marriage before Slater and another following their divorce. He married once more and is survived by his wife Ruth. 

Brenner seemingly retained his great sense of humour to the last. According to his publicist, he requested "that $100 in small bills be placed in his left sock 'just in case tipping is recommended where I'm going.'" He requested his gravestone should read "If this is supposed to be a joke - then I don't get it!"

Contactmusic send their condolences to David Brenner's family and friends.