This summer in Norfolk, Neb., the comedian, author, actor and director will be described in another way: comedy legend.
Steinberg will be this year’s recipient of the Johnny Carson Comedy Legend award at the 2014 Great American Comedy Festival presented by Nucor Steel.
Eddie Brill, the festival’s artistic director, said, “I’m over the moon to have David Steinberg as this year’s legend. I’ve been trying to get him to our festival for years and because of his incredibly busy schedule, he wasn’t able to come until this year.”
Brill said he has worked with Steinberg in the past.
“It turns out that not only is David an amazing talent, but also a down-to-earth and incredible soul,” Brill said.
Steinberg and his wife, Robyn, will be on hand to receive the award at the Saturday, June 14, festival performance at the Johnny Carson Theatre. His name will be added to a list of previous legend award recipients that include, among others, Dick Cavett, and Stephen Wright.
His connection to Johnny Carson, who grew up in Norfolk, is strong. After his first appearance on the “The Tonight Show,” he became one of Carson’s most popular guests and guest hosts, with 140 appearances — second only to Bob Hope. Steinberg was the youngest person ever to guest host “The Tonight Show.”
“The Great American Comedy Festival was created to pay tribute to Johnny’s legacy. So to have someone like David Steinberg — who Johnny thought so much of — as part of our festival is so fitting,” said Paula Pflueger, vice chairwoman of the festival.
Steinberg is in his third season of hosting the popular “Inside Comedy,” which he also Executive Produces with Steve Carell for Showtime. Among the comedians interviewed by Steinberg on “Inside Comedy” are Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman and Larry David.
He is a legendary comedian who began entertaining audiences in the late 1960s at Second City and then New York City’s Bitter End and whom the New York Times referred to as a “. . . cross between Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce.” His controversial sermons were responsible for throwing the Smothers Brothers off the air. He has three comedy albums all nominated for Grammys.
Steinberg is also now regarded as one of the best and most creative directors working in television. He has earned several Emmy Awards and nominations for directing episodes of “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” “Mad About You,” “Newhart” and “Designing Women,” which he also executive produced. More recently, Steinberg has been directing the hit series “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
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Want to learn more?
For more information on the comedy festival or to purchase tickets, go to www.greatamericancomedyfestival.com or at Insurance Associates, 1900 W. Pasewalk Ave., in Norfolk.
For more on David Steinberg, go to www.thedavidsteinberg.com or follow him on Twitter – @david_steinberg