By Mirembe Martina
Davis was a writer who helped develop one of the most popular skits on television, Saturday Night Live with Al Franken. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 but has lost the battle.
He is most recognized for his work as partner in the Franken and Davis show. Davis and Franken were also the first writer who were hired for a new show in 1975 creating some of the most memorable work of “Coneheads” skit with Dan Aykroyd. It later evolved into the “Nick the Lounge Singer” skit starring Bill Murray performing lounge-lizard versions of songs including the “Star Wars” theme.
Raleigh said Davis and Franken “were two of the first writers hired — with one salary.”
Franken said he spoke with Davis’s mother Thursday, and she recalled fondly all the laughter that would come from the basement when the two first got started in comedy. “I visited Tom two weeks ago, and though he was deathly ill, we did a lot of laughing,” Franken said. “He was a great friend, a good man, and so funny.”
Dudley Riggs, founder of a comedy theater and improve in Minneapolis where Franken and Davis got their start in the 1970s before heading to “SNL,” said Davis would always find “an oblique way” to tell a joke and had “a knack to be able to surprise.”
Screenwriter Pat Proft commented about his death saying, “Last I saw Tom he was happy. He wrote his book. We talked. Had a wonderful time. I’m sorry for his wife. His family. For Al. For all of us who know him. A very sad day.”
“SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said “no one saw things the way that Tom did.” “He was funny, he was original and he was always there to help no matter the hour,” he said. “And I always trusted his laugh. I can still kinda hear it.”
His sense of humor was also extended to his illness. “I wake up in the morning, delighted to be waking up, read, write, feed the birds, watch sports on TV, accepting the fact that in the foreseeable future I will be a dead person,” Davis wrote. “I want to remind you that dead people are people too,” Tom Davis wrote.