Comedian and 'Tonight Show' regular David Brenner dies at 78

NEW YORK Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:03am EDT

Comedian David Brenner and his girlfriend, champion figure skater Tai Babilonia, pose at an after party at the premiere of U.S singer-songwriter Barry Manilow's show 'Manilow: Music and Passion' at the Las Vegas Hilton Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada in this February 24, 2005, file photo. REUTERS/Ethan Miller/Files

Comedian David Brenner and his girlfriend, champion figure skater Tai Babilonia, pose at an after party at the premiere of U.S singer-songwriter Barry Manilow's show 'Manilow: Music and Passion' at the Las Vegas Hilton Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada in this February 24, 2005, file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Ethan Miller/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - David Brenner, a stand-up comedian who appeared regularly on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," died on Saturday in New York, a family spokesman said. He was 78.

Brenner, who had been battling cancer and performed most recently on New Year's Eve, passed away at his home in New York surrounded by his family, publicist Jeff Abraham said.

The Pennsylvania native appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than 150 times and was known for poking fun at the commonplace aspects of life.

Brenner said his last wish was that $100 in small bills be placed in his left sock "just in case tipping is recommended where I'm going," according to the publicist.

Abraham said Brenner's final resting spot will carry the epitaph: "If this is supposed to be a joke - then I don't get it!"

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Paul Simao)

FILED UNDER: