Vancouver Sun

FAREWELL, SUPER DAVE

Actor Einstein dies at 76

- Lynn Elber The Associated Press, with files from The Washington Post

LOS ANGELES • Bob Einstein, the veteran comedy writer and performer known for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Curb Your Enthusiasm and his spoof daredevil character Super Dave Osborne, has died, according to his brother, filmmaker Albert Brooks. Einstein was 76.

Einstein will be “missed forever,” Brooks said in a post Wednesday on his verified Twitter account.

“R.I.P. My dear brother Bob Einstein. A great brother, father and husband. A brilliantl­y funny man,” tweeted Brooks, 71.

Deadline reported that Einstein had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Einstein was scheduled to be part of the 10th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm but his health barred him from filming, HBO said.

On the HBO comedy, Einstein played annoying pal Marty Funkhouser to Larry David’s equally off-putting character. In a statement, David said he’d never seen an actor enjoy a role more than Einstein did playing Marty.

“It was an amazing, unforgetta­ble experience knowing and working with him. There was no one like him, as he told us again and again,” David said Wednesday. “We’re all in a state of shock.”

Einstein played Super Dave, a stuntman far more ambitious than he was agile. The character appeared on comedy-variety specials and series, most recently Super Dave’s Spike Tacular in 2009.

He spent 12 years in Toronto during Super Dave’s heyday in the 1980s, appearing regularly on Jon Byner’s Bizarre Canadian sketch comedy series and later starring on his own talk show, The Super Dave Osborne Show.

Aside from being utter fiascos, Super Dave’s antics were known for their lowbudget effects, often involving haphazard contraptio­ns designed by stunt co-ordinator Fuji and featuring flimsy protective padding and harnesses made from “genuine Saskatchew­an sealskin bindings.”

Stunts would invariably end with a stuffed dummy dressed as Super Dave being crushed, burned, buried, flung or worse.

In a 2008 interview with The Canadian Press, Einstein said he thought fondly on his time in Canada but admits there were painful moments, too. Literally.

“You can’t do everything I did for all those years and not sustain some injuries,” he said, recalling a motorcycle stunt in which he broke his heel.

Einstein won an Emmy for writing on the 1960s series The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, on which he also played opposite brothers Tom and Dick Smothers, and a second Emmy in 1976 for Dick Van Dyke’s Van Dyke and Company variety series.

Einstein also holds the distinctio­n of being the first comedian to appear twice on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, having been featured in both Season 1 and Season 9.

In the Season 1 instalment, Seinfeld recalls meeting Einstein on the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he did a multi-episode arc as himself in the show’s seventh season.

The two comedians share a memorable scene in which Funkhouser insists on telling Seinfeld a wildly inappropri­ate joke. As the two recalled on Comedians in Cars, the scene marked the first time Seinfeld had heard the joke, and the boisterous laugh he lets out at the punchline was his actual reaction.

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 ?? POSTMEDIA NEWS FILES ?? Bob Einstein, pictured in 1997 in Vancouver, was an Emmy Award-winning actor and writer known for his work on The Smothers Brothers, Bizarre, Curb Your Enthusiasm and for Super Dave, his inept stuntman creation.
POSTMEDIA NEWS FILES Bob Einstein, pictured in 1997 in Vancouver, was an Emmy Award-winning actor and writer known for his work on The Smothers Brothers, Bizarre, Curb Your Enthusiasm and for Super Dave, his inept stuntman creation.

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