Mike Walden, L.A. Sportscaster and 'Super Dave' Interviewer, Dies at 89

Courtesy of USC
Mike Walden

He called games for crosstown rivals USC and UCLA, becoming the first person to serve as the broadcast voice of both universities.

Mike Walden, who called games for UCLA and USC for more than two decades and lent a sportscaster's touch to Bob Einstein's Super Dave comedy shows on Showtime in the 1980s, has died. He was 89.

Walden died Sunday in the Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana from complications of a stroke, USC announced.

Einstein, the future Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm, was first seen as "Super Dave" Osborne — a poor man's Evel Knievel and daredevil whose stunts always failed in spectacular fashion — on television in the early 1970s. He played the character on Bizarre, which ran on Showtime from 1980 to 1985, and then in a series of specials.

Along the way, the ultra-serious and concerned Walden would be on hand to interview the red, white and blue-clad Super Dave before he strapped on his helmet.

"He was a great guy," Steve Kolodny, who served as a writer-producer of on-air promotion for Showtime and appeared on the show, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He was very genuine and positive and actually was that nice person that you saw on camera."

Also known for his loud sport coats, Walden did play-by-play for USC football and men’s basketball from 1966-72, then moved across town to call UCLA games for the better part of 18 years. He was the first person to serve as the broadcast voice of both schools.

Walden was at the microphone when the Trojans appeared in five Rose Bowls and won national football championships in 1967 and 1972. He was enshrined in the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003.

Walden also reported on sports for radio stations KNX and KFI and for KTLA-TV.

A native of Springfield, Ill., Walden spent two years in the Air Force, then did play-by-play for his alma mater, the University of Illinois. He later called games for the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Braves and worked for CBS Radio in Chicago before heading west.

He also was a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972.

Survivors include his wife Nancy, children Gregory, David, Nanette and Julie and five grandchildren. A celebration of his life will take place at 11 a.m. on March 18 at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana.