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David Steinberg (comedian)

David Steinberg

David Steinberg is a comedian, actor, director, writer and author.

He was one of the best-known stand-up comics in the U.S. during the late 1960s and appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show 140 times.

David also directed episodes of many the most successful television comedies of the last fifteen years, including:

  • Seinfeld
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Mad About You
  • Friends
  • Designing Women.

One of Steinberg's most notorious performances was on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he did satirical sermons. The sketch caused CBS to receive the most complaints they'd ever had. The Smothers Brothers were told by the network that they could have Steinberg on the show again, on the condition that he would not do the sermons again. Nevertheless, Tommy Smothers asked Steinberg to do it again, and he did a sermon in which he said "The Old Testament scholars say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. The Gentiles, the New Testament scholars say, 'Hold it, Jews, no.' They literally grabbed the Jews by the Old Testament." This incident helped lead to the cancellation of the show. The Jonah sketch never aired.

In 1972, Steinberg starred in the in The David Steinberg Show in the United States. Nearly identical in format to the later The Larry Sanders Show, this series also went backstage at a fictional TV series.The show was re-imagined in 1976 as SCTV in Canada and it helped launch the careers of a number of top Canadian comic actors, including Martin Short, John Candy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, and Joe Flaherty.

Steinberg performed some notable stand-up comedy during the 1970s as well, including "The Incredible Shrinking God" which contains ten of his comedic sermons and mini-sermons, as recorded live during his stand-up routine at Second City. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2003.

Steinberg currently hosts Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg on TV Land in the U.S; an informal interview-style show in which David Steinberg talks with famous comedians and comic actors. The first season featured Larry David, Jon Lovitz, Martin Short, Bob Newhart, and George Lopez. The second season featured Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr, Jon Stewart, Garry Shandling and Ray Romano. The program is filmed before a live audience at UCLA.

His first book, The Book of David was published in June 2007 by Simon and Schuster.