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Comedy World Remembers Bob Einstein, the Man Behind Super Dave Osborne

Comedians paid tribute to Einstein, whose lengthy career also included a memorable turn as Marty Funkhouser on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Hbo/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883614l)Larry David, Bob EinsteinCurb Your Enthusiasm - 2011HboUSATelevision


Bob Einstein died Wednesday at the age of 76, leaving behind a comedic legacy that stretched across a half-century in film and TV. Starting as an Emmy-winning writer and frequent contributor on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” opposite Steve Martin, Einstein came to prominence with the creation of the character Super Dave Osborne. The fictional stuntman went on to become a cultural touchstone, spawning multiple TV series, a feature film, and a number of commercial appearances.

With a career spanning decades, some of his best-known work came in recent years, most notably as Marty Funkhouser on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The show’s leading lady, Cheryl Hines, tweeted a photo of Einstein. “We lost a friend today. Thanks for all the laughs,” she wrote. “The comedy world will miss you.”

A year after joining “Curb,” Einstein had a memorable run on “Arrested Development” as Larry Middleman, George Bluth’s surrogate and literal voice while under house arrest. His deadpan delivery was one of the highlights of the show’s third season.

Einstein was a late night fixture, with a career spanning from the network heyday, all the way through multiple appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Kimmel shared a legendary moment from “Super Dave,” a series that ran for five seasons in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Among his assorted supporting roles, Einstein also made an appearance on the TV version of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Plenty of industry folks shared their personal recollections, including writer Josh Friedman, who explained how a talk with a family friend turned into a classic piece of advice.

Albert Brooks, Einstein’s brother, shared a brief tribute as well.

Wednesday’s news prompted many film fans to share Einstein’s supporting performance in Brooks’ 1981 film “Modern Romance” as a particular career highlight.

The most recent season of “Curb” marked Einstein’s last on-screen appearance. Marty Funkhouser became such an iconic “Curb” character that it became a popular pseudonym for celebrities checking into hotels. One unnamed member of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team used it during the 2017 playoffs, while Radiohead member and “Phantom Thread” composer Jonny Greenwood revealed that he used it on the band’s recent tours.

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