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Emmy Award Winner Bob Einstein, Best Known as Super Dave Osborne, Dead at 76

Bob Einstein was super. It’s true in a lot of ways. As a young man in his mid-20s, he became a writer for The Smothers Brothers and The Sonny and Cher Show, honing what would become one of the greatest comedic wits the world would see. While working on this shows, Einstein eventually created what would become his signature character, Super Dave Osborne.

Super Dave Osborne was a stunt performer, ostensibly a parody of then-popular daredevil Evel Knievel, who was big on bravado and low on results. The character’s first stunt was actually just riding a roller coaster alongside some children but acting as if it was the most dangerous thing anyone could imagine, and he actually passes out. He’d later become famous for stunts that went horribly wrong and injured himself in the process, famously including one stunt that left him as nothing but a pair of shoes with a helmet on it.

Einstein and the character of Super Dave Osborne were so synonymous that people actually called him Super. According to Sarah Silverman, everyone she knew called him Super, except his grandchildren, who called him Grandpa Super.

Had Bob Einstein never been anything but Super Dave, we’d still be celebrating his life today. It was a character so simple to understand, yet so ripe with possibility that he had two television series, a Saturday morning cartoon and movie, a character who came around for 40 years to give us a laugh that everyone in the family could understand and appreciate.

Bob Einstein had the opportunity to create a second beloved character later in life when he played Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Marty was an entirely different kind of character than Super Dave, but Einstein made him just as memorable in some ways, eventually making him one of the most memorable minor characters on the show.

Einsten also made a memorable appearance in his brother Albert Brooks’ film Modern Romance as a pushy but deadpan shoe salesman.

Brooks himself retweeted the scene, and it has a lowkey brilliance that shows you just how talented Einstein really was as a comedian.

Bob Einstein was 76, and had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.

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