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David Steinberg – this year’s Johnny Carson Comedy Legend

Steinberg  was presented with  his award at the 2014 Great American Comedy Festival held at the Johnny Carson Theater in Norfolk, New England.

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David Steinberg / Getty


The Johnny Carson Theater in Norfolk, New England was the scene for the seventh annual Great American Comedy Festival, with veteran comedian David Steinberg  the recipient of this year’s  Johnny Carson Comedy Legend award.

Memories of  the late Johnny Carson was the frequent theme running through the final evening’s performance, rounding off a four day Festival of Remembrance, with David Steinberg being the undoubted center of attraction, not only for being the recipient of the value prize, but for being the last surviving member of the world of entertainment who had appeared on the Johnny Carson show so many times, 140 in total, second only to the legendary comedian Bob Hope.

David Steinberg also be has the distinction of being the youngest person ever to serve as a guest host on the show.

To round off the awards ceremony Steinberg amused the more than 1000 people in the audience with recollections of his long-term association and friendship with the late Johnny, and how much he helped his career,  especially in its days

Paula Pflueger, vice chairwoman of the the Great American Comedy Festival was effusive in her praise for David Steinberg,  who she recalled Carson being especially fond of, summing to say that it was so fitting that you be the recipient of this year’s prize, alongside such legends from the world of entertainment as Dick Cavett and Stephen Wright.


DAVID STEINBERG was a guest or guest host on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson a total of 140 times,    second only to Bob Hope. Steinberg  honored the 2014 Great American Comedy Festival in Norfolk with the Johnny Carson Comedy Legend award /Courtesy photo


Steinberg’s career as a stand-up comedian began to take a backseat towards the end of the eighties, when he began to earn himself a reputation as a television show director, now been regarded as among the best and most creative directors working in the field  today.

During his long career on the other side of the screen Steinberg has directed numerous prime-time sitcoms, including of “Friends, ” “Seinfeld, ” “Mad About You, ” “Newhart” and “Designing Women, ” also acting as executive producer on the latter.


Beginning from 2012, Steinberg has hosted the interview program “Inside Comedy”  on the Showtime network, interviewing a number of popular comedians from the world of stand-up, television, and film. Among the comedy legends that Steinberg has interviewed during the three  seasons of Inside Comedy are Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Mel Brooks, Robin Williams and Steve Martin.


David Steinberg was born in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba in  Canada. After spending some time studying theology in Israel, David went on to earn an English Literature at the University of Chicago.

It was during that time that Steinberg first began to consider a career in entertainment, and especially comedy, but being a viable option after he took in a performance of the late Lenny Bruce.

David  began to take his first tentative steps as a stand-up comedian during the late sixties first of all as a member of the “Second City”  an improvisational comedy troupe in later gaining a permanent booking at New York City’s Bitter End. During his time as a stand-up comedian Steinberg was nominated for Grammys for three  of his often controversial comedy albums.





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