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Published: 2012/07/20

Tom Davis (1952 – 2012)

Longtime SNL writer and Deadhead Tom Davis passed away yesterday at his home in Hudson, NY after battling throat and neck cancer. He was 59.

Davis and senator/comedian Al Franken formed the comedic duo “Franken and Davis” in high school, before going on to write for the inaugural season of SNL.

In addition to his life of comedy, Davis was also a notable Deadhead and a close friend of Jerry Garcia. At one point, Garcia and Davis attempted to collaborate on an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens Of Titan, with Bill Murray potentially filling the lead role.

In his book, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There, Davis discusses his friendships with counterculture legend Timothy Leary, detailing his own drug use and his travels to India in the 1970s. In recent years, Davis contributed to a book about legendary Dead soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley.

Below, watch video of Davis interviewing chef Jerry Garcia from December 31, 1987. For more videos of Davis and Franken, as well as members of the Dead, head over to our sister-site

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