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Bob Einstein of Curb, 'Super Dave' Fame Dead at 76

Two-time Emmy winner played Funkhouser on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2019 2:58 PM CST
Bob Einstein arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Bob Einstein, who as Marty Funkhouser acted as a foil for Larry David's character on Curb Your Enthusiasm, died Wednesday at 76 after a recent cancer diagnosis. Einstein, the older brother of Albert Brooks, started off as a writer in the 1960s, winning the first of two Emmys as part of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour team. He was nominated for more Emmys while writing for the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and Dick Van Dyke's Van Dyke and Company, and ultimately won another Emmy as a producer for the latter when it won Outstanding Variety Program. Einstein also appeared on Smothers Brothers and went on to appear on numerous late-night and comedy shows including the Tonight Show with hosts Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Conan O'Brien; Late Night With David Letterman; and Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee—on which he was the only guest to appear two times.

Einstein also created the character of bumbling stuntman and daredevil Super Dave Osborne, whom he played on multiple shows, first as a guest and later on the self-titled Super Dave from 1987-91 and Super Dave's SpikeTacular in 2009; the character was also featured in an animated series and a movie, per the Hollywood Reporter. And he appeared as Funkhouser in almost two dozen episodes of Curb from its launch in 2004 to its most recent season, Deadline reports. But he had initially sworn off comedy after watching Milton Berle and other comics tell jokes at the funeral for his father, the comedian Harry Einstein (aka Parkyakarkus). It was only after attempting to get into the advertising industry that he, at age 26, stumbled into showbiz after doing a local cable TV performance for a friend that ended up catching Tom Smothers' eye. (WWE's most recognizable interviewer also died recently at 76.)

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