Al Franken’s ‘SNL’ partner, The Legendary Tom Davis, dies in NY

HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — A writer who with Al Franken helped develop some of the most popular skits in the early years of “Saturday Night Live” has died in New York. Tom Davis was 59.

His wife, Mimi Raleigh, says he died of throat and neck cancer Thursday at his home in the Hudson Valley, north of New York City. He was diagnosed in 2009.

Davis said in an interview with The Associated Press that year that in the offbeat comedic duo of Franken and Davis he was the quiet guy, overshadowed by his flashier partner.

Some of their most memorable work included the “Coneheads” skit with Dan Aykroyd and the “Nick the Lounge Singer” skit starring Bill Murray.


Tom Davis (August 13, 1952–July 19, 2012) was an Emmy Award-winning American writer and comedian. He is best known for his former partnership with Al Franken, as half of the comedy duo “Franken & Davis” on Saturday Night Live.

Davis attended The Blake School in MinneapolisMinnesota, where he began his friendship and professional partnership with Franken. In 1975, Davis got his big break as one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live, where he and Franken also performed together.

Franken and Davis also wrote the screenplay for, and appeared in, the film One More Saturday Night, and had cameos in Trading Places and The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash. Davis was a frequent guest on The Al Franken Show, appearing in sketches as characters including Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and a male prostitute. Davis created the SNL sketches “Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber” with Steve Martin, the “Nick The Lounge Singer” sketches with Bill Murray, and “The Continental” with Christopher Walken.

In 2010, Davis was diagnosed with tongue and neck cancer. He originally refused traditional treatment that would have left him disfigured and unable to speak. Eventually he went to Mt. Sinai, where they removed a tumor with minimally invasive robotic surgery. He died on July 19, 2012.