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Comedian Bobby Slayton was among the many people in Hollywood paying tribute to David Brenner, who died Saturday at age 78.
Slayton — aka the “Pitbull of Comedy” — told The Hollywood Reporter via email that Brenner played a key role in the success of Slayton’s own career.
STORY: Hollywood Pays Tribute to David Brenner
“David gave me a couple of my first national television shots on his syndicated show Nightlife back in the ’80s,” he recalled. “And when I became a resident headliner in Vegas 20 years later, David was living there and would always take me out to dinner and give me great advice and share some hysterical stories over a great meal and martinis. Those nights were always a highlight of my time in Vegas.”
Slayton added: “I will miss him very much. I already do!”
Slayton also paid tribute to Brenner on Twitter.
David Brenner was a great friend and always there for me when I needed advice. My condolences to his family. RIP pal.
— Bobby Slayton (@PitbullofComedy) March 15, 2014
Many others in Hollywood— from Paul Reiser to Richard Lewis — also hit Twitter on Saturday to pay their respects to Brenner.
Brenner was a favorite of Johnny Carson and appeared more times on The Tonight Show than any other guest.
PHOTOS: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014
By one estimate, the perpetually grinning Brenner appeared on The Tonight Show 158 times and guest-hosted the NBC late-night show on a handful of other occasions when Carson took time off. One book says he made more talk-show appearances than any other guest in history.
Watch his Tonight Show debut on Jan. 8, 1971, below.
Michael Barnes and Erik Hayden contributed to this report.
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