Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue


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


There are 4 comments associated with this post

SpecialK July 20, 2012, 17:51:43

That scene of Jerry and Tom always cracks me up. RIP Tom!

me July 20, 2012, 18:29:48

RIP Tom… I cut my teeth on SNL in the 70s… loved Franken and Davis stuff!

dk July 21, 2012, 13:31:59

I met Tom Davis at JGB show at the Meadowlands. He was chillin at the soundboard and I recognized him and gave a shout out. I thought all he may do was shoot me a wave. But he actually came over and shot the shit with me for a good while, gave me an autograph and answered some questions about the Dead’s appearances on SNL. He also shooed away a big monkey head security guard so we could rap a bit.Totally cool dude and brilliant comedic talent.

FnDs July 22, 2012, 10:24:34

Rest In peace, Tom. You will be sorely missed.

Note: It may take a moment for your post to appear

(required) (required, not public)