Tom Davis, a genius who wrote some of the iconic "Saturday Night Live" sketches, has passed away on Thursday, July 19. The former writing partner of Al Franken died of throat and neck cancer at his home in Hudson, according to his wife Mimi Raleigh. He was 59.
Words of tribute and condolence have since poured in. Fellow comedian Michael McKean tweeted, "Sorry to hear about Tom Davis. He was a very friendly, funny guy: RIP." The head writer of "SNL" Seth Meyers wrote, "RIP Tom Davis, SNL original. He was as kind as he was funny."
Franken, who is now a senator from Democratic Party, told WCCO-TV, "Today is a sad day for all of us who loved Tom." He added, "I spoke with his mom this afternoon and she recalled fondly all the laughter that would come from the basement when Tom and I first got started in comedy."
Franken, who became the original writing team with Davis, visited his late friend two weeks before his death. "Though he was deathly ill, we did a lot of laughing," the politician remembered. "He was a great friend, a good man, and so funny."
Fellow writer Pat Proft looked up to Davis and Franken as a "perfect comedy team." The screenwriter said in an email to AP, "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."
Davis was best known as half of the comedy duo "Franken & Davis" on the "SNL". The Emmy-winning writer wrote for the variety show when it started in 1975 before he quit in 1980. He then returned to his post from 1986 to 1994.
One of Davis' memorable works was "The Coneheads" which starred Dan Aykroyd and followed an alien family as they were stranded on Earth. In addition to writing, Davis appeared in "Trading Places" and "The Al Franken Show" among others.