|Born||August 9, 1942|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, books|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||Religion, self-deprecation, everyday life|
(m. 1973; div. 1997)
David Steinberg(born August 9, 1942) is a Canadian comedian, actor, writer, director, and author. At the height of his popularity, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was one of the best-known comics in the United States. He appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson more than 130 times (second only to Bob Hope in number of appearances) and served as guest host 12 times, the youngest person ever to guest-host. Steinberg directed several films and episodes of television situation comedies, including Seinfeld, Friends, Mad About You, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Golden Girls, and Designing Women.
Since 2012, Steinberg has hosted the interview program Inside Comedy on the Showtime network.
Born the son of Yasha, a strict, Romanian-born rabbi, and Ruth Steinberg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, David initially studied theology in Israel. Later, while studying English Literature at the University of Chicago, he decided to become a comedian after seeing Lenny Bruce perform. He finished school and was discovered by one of the founders of The Second City in Chicago, which he joined in 1964. There he performed with Robert Klein, Fred Willard, Peter Boyle, and Joe Flaherty. He remained with the group for six years. In 1972, Steinberg was best man at the wedding of his friend, the gangster Crazy Joe Gallo.
One of Steinberg's most notorious performances was in October 1968 on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he gave satirical sermons. The sketch caused CBS to receive a record number of complaints, and, as a result, the network instituted a policy of providing local stations with a closed-circuit telecast of each episode ahead of time so they could choose whether or not to air it. The Smothers Brothers were told by the network that they could have Steinberg on the show again on the condition that he would not repeat the sermons. Nevertheless, Tommy Smothers asked Steinberg to do it again, and he gave 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 contributed to the cancellation of the show. The Jonah sketch was never aired by CBS.
Steinberg appeared in two Broadway flops, Little Murders and Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights, which both closed within one week in 1967 and 1968, respectively.
Steinberg was the most frequent host of the pop and rock music ABC television show, The Music Scene, 1969–1970. The show featured performances by Joe Cocker and CSN&Y. In 1972, Steinberg wrote and starred in The David Steinberg Show in the United States as a five-week summer replacement sketch comedy show. Around the same time, TV Guide labelled Steinberg "offbeat, racy, outrageous, and establishment-baiting – all of which makes him a particular favorite among the young and disenchanted."
In 1975 Steinberg hosted Noonday, a short-lived half-hour midday talk show on NBC.
In 1976, Steinberg returned to Canada to produce a second show called The David Steinberg Show. This series was a hybrid sitcom/variety show, modelled loosely on The Jack Benny Program in that the plots centred on the star (Steinberg) and his cast trying to put together another instalment of their variety show. Amongst the regular cast were future SCTV stars Joe Flaherty, John Candy, Dave Thomas, and Martin Short. SCTV's Andrea Martin also appeared on the show, but not as a regular. SCTV premiered the same week as The David Steinberg Show, and ran for six seasons; The David Steinberg Show lasted only one season.
Steinberg performed some notable stand-up comedy during the 1970s as well, including The Incredible Shrinking God (LP MCA 73013, 1968), which contains ten of his comedic sermons and mini-sermons recorded live during his stand-up routine at Second City. He also hosted the 1977 Juno Awards show. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2003.
More recently (2005–2007), Steinberg hosted Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg, an informal, interview-style show in which he talks with famous comedians and comic actors, for two seasons on TV Land in the U.S. The first season featured Mike Myers, 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 was filmed before an audience at UCLA.
His first book, The Book of David (ISBN 0743272323), was published in June 2007 by Simon & Schuster.
In 2010, he directed and produced the Canadian cable comedy series Living in Your Car.
The first iteration of The David Steinberg Show ran on CBS television in the United States for five weeks in the summer of 1972. The series was an hour-long sketch comedy show, in which Steinberg was the only regular. Other sketch roles were played by the two or three guest stars that Steinberg would introduce each week.
Four years later, Steinberg starred in a comedy/variety series also called The David Steinberg Show, which was produced in Canada for the CTV Network and was seen in the US in syndication. This series was partly modelled on The Jack Benny Program, in that it was largely about the behind-the-scenes adventures of the cast of a variety show and their friends. Each episode included material from the "variety show" that was being produced, as well as backstage segments. The series ran during 1976/77 television season and lasted 26 episodes. The supporting cast featured a number of people who would go on to greater fame on SCTV, and many Steinberg cast members were simultaneously working on the first season of SCTV, which debuted the same week as The David Steinberg Show. SCTV cast members doing "double duty" on Steinberg included Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas and John Candy, with Candy actually doing "triple duty" as he was also a cast member on the CBC sitcom Coming Up Rosie during this period. Martin Short, also a Steinberg regular, would later become a cast member of SCTV, but not until 1982 (after he joined SCTV, Short would actually end up portraying Steinberg in an SCTV sketch).
SCTV stalwart Andrea Martin also appeared in a few episodes of The David Steinberg Show, but not as a regular.
The cast of the 1976/77 edition of The David Steinberg Show included:
Steinberg has been married twice. He married Judy Marcione in 1973 and they had two daughters. They divorced in 1997 after 24 years of marriage. Steinberg married Robyn Todd in 2005.
Steinberg has received five Emmy Award nominations, winning two as one of the writers of Academy Awards programs in 1991 and 1992. He received a CableACE Award in 1992 for his stand up comedy Cats, Cops and Stuff. He has been nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award (for Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series) twice: first in 1991 for the Seinfeld episode, The Tape, and again in 1996 for the Mad About You episode, The Finale: Parts II and III, and has been nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award (2000) and a Gemini (2001), as well. His parody of the novel Ragtime won him a Playboy Humor Award. In 2003, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
In December 2016, Steinberg was named a Member of the Order of Canada.
|1967||Fearless Frank||Yes||The Rat|
|1969||The Lost Man||Yes||Photographer|
|1978||The End||Yes||Marty Lieberman|
|1979||Something Short of Paradise||Yes||Harris Sloane|
|1980||Nothing Personal||Yes||Talk Show Host|
|1996||Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy||Yes|
|1997||The Wrong Guy||Yes||Yes||Outpatient in Neck Brace|
|1999||Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story||Yes|
|2000||The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave||Yes||Yes|
|2003||This Thing of Ours||Yes|
|2005||The Greatest Game Ever Played||Yes|
|1968–1969||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||Yes||Yes||Himself|
|1968–1992||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||Himself / Guest host|
|1969||NBC Experiment in Television||Yes||Episode: "This Is Sholom Aleichem"|
|1969–1970||The Music Scene||Yes||Host||14 episodes|
|1970||The Return of the Smothers Brothers||Yes||Yes||Himself||Television special|
|1971||The Odd Couple||Yes||Himself||Episode: "The Odd Couple Meet Their Host"|
|1972,1976–1977||The David Steinberg Show||Yes||Host||26 episodes|
|1973||ABC's Wide World of Entertainment||Yes||Paul||Episode: "Night Train to Terror"|
|1975||The Smothers Brothers Show||Yes||Himself||Episode: "A Boarding House Is Not A Home"|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Yes||Segment: "The Uncle Devil Show"|
|1986||The Young Comedians All-Star Reunion||Yes||Television special|
|1986||Robin Williams: Live at the Met||Yes||Stand-up special|
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||Yes||Episode: "Casey at the Bat"|
|1986||Billy Crystal: Don't Get Me Started||Yes||Television special|
|1986||The Ellen Burstyn Show||Yes||Episode: "Reading Between the Lines"|
|1986||The Golden Girls||Yes||Episode: "Big Daddy's Little Lady"|
|1986–1987||One Big Family||Yes||5 episodes|
|1987||The Popcorn Kid||Yes||2 episodes|
|1988||Eisenhower and Lutz||Yes||Episode: "Bud Junior, Junior: Part 1"|
|1988||Family Man||Yes||5 episodes|
|1988||CBS Summer Playhouse||Yes||Episode: "Baby on Board"|
|1989||Billy Crystal: Midnight Train To Moscow||Yes||Television special|
|1989||I, Martin Short, Goes Home||Yes||Television special|
|1988||Annie McGuire||Yes||6 episodes|
|1989||It's Garry Shandling's Show||Yes||2 episodes|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Yes||Television special|
|1990||The Fanelli Boys||Yes||Episode: "Pursued"|
|1990||Get a Life||Yes||Episode: "The Sitting"|
|1990–1991||Good Grief||Yes||13 episodes|
|1990–1991||Evening Shade||Yes||Yes||8 episodes|
|1991||63rd Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|1992||64th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|1993||Rick Reynolds: Only the Truth Is Funny||Yes||Television special|
|1993||65th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|1993||It Had to Be You||Yes||Yes||4 episodes|
|1993||Daddy Dearest||Yes||2 episodes|
|1994–1999||Mad About You||Yes||Yes||Director / Bad Eulogizer||50 episodes|
|1995–1996||The Parent 'Hood||Yes||5 episodes|
|1996||Carver's Gate||Yes||Television film|
|1997||Lost on Earth||Yes||6 episodes|
|1997||69th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|1997||Ink||Yes||Episode: "Logan's Run"|
|1998||Friends||Yes||Episode: "The One with Phoebe's Uterus"|
|1998||70th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|1998||Living in Captivity||Yes||2 episodes|
|1999||The Wonderful World of Disney||Yes||Episode: "Switching Goals"|
|2000||72nd Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|2000–2001||Big Sound||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Gabe Moss||Also creator|
|2000–2001||Even Stevens||Yes||2 episodes|
|2000–2017||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Yes||8 episodes|
|2002||Robin Williams: Live on Broadway||Yes||Stand-up special|
|2004||Good Girls Don't||Yes||Episode: "The Big O"|
|2004||76th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|2005||Wild Card||Yes||Episode: "A Whisper from Zoe's Sister"|
|2005||The Comeback||Yes||2 episodes|
|2005–2007||Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg||Yes||Yes||Host||Also creator|
|2006||Carlos Mencia: No Strings Attached||Yes||Stand-up special|
|2006||Campus Ladies||Yes||3 episodes|
|2006||Sons & Daughters||Yes||2 episodes|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Yes||Episode: "Perseverance"|
|2007||Jim Norton: Monster Rain||Yes||Stand-up special|
|2008||Weeds||Yes||Episode: "The Whole Blah Damn Thing"|
|2008||Down and Dirty with Jim Norton||Yes||4 episodes|
|2008||Little Britain USA||Yes||6 episodes|
|2009||Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction||Yes||Stand-up special|
|2010||Living in Your Car||Yes||Yes||4 episodes|
|2011||Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up||Yes||Stand-up special|
|2011||Single White Spenny||Yes||Episode: "Circumcision"|
|2012||84th Academy Awards||Yes||Television special|
|2013||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Yes||Party Guest||Episode: "Wonderland Story"|
|2012–2015||Inside Comedy||Yes||Yes||Host||36 episodes|
|2015||The Comedians||Yes||Billy's Agent (voice)||Episode: "Go for Gad"|