Al Franken’s Former ‘SNL’ Partner Tom Davis Dead at 59

Pioneering "Saturday Night Live" writer Tom Davis won multiple Emmys for his work

Last Updated: July 19, 2012 @ 6:48 PM

Tom Davis, one half of the comedy team Franken and Davis that also included comedian-turned-Minnesota senator Al Franken, died Thursday at his Hudson, N.Y. home of throat and neck cancer, the New York Times reports. Davis was 59.

Franken and Davis grew up in Minnesota together and performed skits in high school. They later served as some of the earliest writers for "Saturday Night Live," joining the show in 1975, also appearing occasionally in skits on the series. The pair contributed to some of the most memorable moments in the series' nascent days, helping to craft the Coneheads characters. Davis also worked with Dan Aykroyd on the latter's famous imitation of celebrity chef Julia Child, during which Aykroyd-as-Child bleeds to death after a grave kitchen injury.

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The pair also wrote the screenplay and appeared in the 1986 comedy "One More Saturday Night," and had cameos in "Trading Places" and "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash."

Though Davis was overshadowed by Franken, he won his share of accolades, including three shared Emmys for his work on "SNL," and another for his work on 1977's "The Paul Simon Special."

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Davis originally wrote for "SNL" from 1975 to 1980, and returned for another run that lasted from 1986 to 1994. Though he retired in the mid-1990s, he occasionally continued to write for the show as late as 2003.

In addition to his work for the big and small screen, Davis also penned a memoir, “Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There,” which was published in 2009.

Davis is survived by his wife, Mimi Raleigh, as well as his brother Robert and mother Jean Davis.