Stewart Robert Einstein (November 20, 1942 – January 2, 2019) was an American actor, comedy writer, and producer. He created and performed the satirical stuntman character Super Dave Osborne, and was also known for his roles as Marty Funkhouser in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Larry Middleman on Arrested Development.
Einstein got his start on several television variety shows; including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Einstein won two Emmy Awards as a writer and was nominated four other times. He also won a CableACE Award for acting as Super Dave, along with five other nominations.
Einstein was the son of radio comedian Harry Einstein, and the older brother of fellow actor and comedian Albert Brooks.
Einstein was born in 1942 in Los Angeles, to Jewish parents. His parents were the comic Harry Einstein, best known for playing the character Parkyakarkus on radio and in the movies, and the actress-singer Thelma Leeds. On October 24, 1949, at the age of six, it was reported in the LA Times that he had contracted polio. Fears that it was the paralytic type of polio appear to have been unfounded. His younger brother is comedian and writer Albert Brooks (born Albert Lawrence Einstein), and his older brother, Cliff Einstein, is a retired advertising executive in Los Angeles. He was a 1965 graduate of Chapman College.
Einstein got his start writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for which he won an Emmy Award. The writing team also included Steve Martin and Murray Roman. He also appeared on the show as Officer Judy. In 1977 he won an Emmy for outstanding comedy-variety series for his work on Van Dyke and Company.
Super Dave Osborne
Einstein created the goofy stuntman Super Dave Osborne character for a variety show hosted by John Byner. The character later became a regular on the 1980 television series Bizarre, also hosted by Byner, and was a frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman. On Late Night, besides showing clips of his ill-fated stunts, Super Dave would often tell long semi-crude jokes, usually “written” by someone else. In 1987, Einstein got his own variety show named Super Dave, which ran from 1987 to 1991 on the Global Television Network in Canada (where the show was produced at the network’s Toronto studio) and Showtime in the United States. In 1992, an animated series Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire aired on Fox. Einstein later extended the “Super Dave” franchise by starring in the 2000 movie The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave.
On November 12, 2009, the airing of TNA Impact!, he was the booker and host of the night. He made Super Dave’s Spike Tacular, a four-episode sketch series on Spike TV reprising his Super Dave character, once again engaging in outrageous stunts.
Einstein had recurring roles as Marty Funkhouser in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Larry Middleman in the third season of Arrested Development. He was also featured on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers as obnoxious district selectman Tony Deloge. Einstein was also on The Man Show where he did Century Club with Adam and Jimmy. In Ocean’s Thirteen he played Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon)’s father, Robert “Bobby” Caldwell, a master robber and con artist whose day job is an FBI agent.
Einstein appeared on the second season of Anger Management as Charlie Goodson’s very angry neighbor, and his character in the show instantly got an unflattering nickname based on a feminine hygiene product.
Einstein voiced two characters from The Life & Times of Tim, playing the Elephant Trainer in Tim & the Elephant in the second season, and the bookie in Pray for the Jets in the third.
Einstein was the first comedian to appear twice on Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
In the 2010s, Einstein was a frequent guest on the popular sports talk radio program The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. Einstein called in as a “Celebrity Prognosticator” to give his thoughts on sports and various other topics.
Einstein died on January 2, 2019, at the age of 76, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. Curb Your Enthusiasm series creator and star Larry David said in a statement: “Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing ‘Marty Funkhouser’ on Curb. It was an amazing, unforgettable experience knowing and working with him. There was no one like him, as he told us again and again. We’re all in a state of shock.”
|1972||Get to Know Your Rabbit||Police Officer|
|1972||Another Nice Mess||Agent Nussbaum|
|1981||Modern Romance||Sporting Goods Salesman|
|2000||The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave||Super Dave Osborne|
|2002||Teddy Bears’ Picnic||Dom Molinari|
|2007||Ocean’s Thirteen||Robert “Bobby” Caldwell|
As Super Dave
|1972||The John Byner Comedy Hour||First appearance as Super Dave|
|1976||Van Dyke and Company||Episode #1.6|
|1977||The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour||Producer|
|1989||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||Episode: “Super Dave/Park Overall/Mark Schiff”|
|1980||Late Night with David Letterman||Recurring guest|
|1987–1991||Super Dave||Also writer|
|1992||Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire||Also writer|
|1993||In Living Color|
|1994–1995||WWE Monday Night RAW||Television Special|
|1995||Super Dave’s Vegas Spectacular||Television Special|
|1997||Super Dave’s All Stars||Television Special|
|1998–2004||Hollywood Squares||Recurring guest|
|2003||The Man Show||Episode: “Jimmy Asks Women ‘What Do You Weigh?'”|
|2009||Super Dave’s Spike-Tacular||Episode: “Mr. Big Meeting”|
|2009||The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien||November 11, 2009|
|1967–1969||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||Officer Judy||9 episodes|
|1970||Pat Paulsen’s Half a Comedy Hour||Various Roles||8 episodes|
|1971||The Steve Allen Show||Himself||August 31, 1971|
|1971||Tom Smothers’ Organic Prime Time Space Ride||Himself||5 episodes|
|1973||The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour||Himself||Episode #4.1|
|1975||The Smothers Brothers Show||Himself||4 episodes|
|1971-1991||The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson||Himself – Guest||10 episodes|
|1988-1991||Late Night with David Letterman||Himself||9 episodes|
|1993-1995||Late Show with David Letterman||Himself||5 episodes|
|1997||Roseanne||Howard Morton||Episode: “The Truth Be Told”|
|1999||The Norm Show||Al||Episode: “Norm Pimps Wiener Dog”|
|2002–2003||Crank Yankers||Tony DeLoge/Bob Carlman||8 episodes|
|2003||Gadget & the Gadgetinis||Himself – Story consultant||52 episodes|
|2003-2007||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Himself – Guest – co-Host||22 episodes|
|2005–2006||Arrested Development||Larry Middleman||5 episodes|
|2008||Welcome to the Captain||Mickey Tittle||Episode: Mr. Big Meeting|
|2009||The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien||Himself||Episode: Jessica Biel/Bob Einstein/John Fogerty|
|2011||Conan||Himself||Ep: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish
Oh, God, My Whole Life Has Been a Horrible Lie
|2010–2012||The Life & Times of Tim||Elephant Trainer / The Bookie||2 episodes|
|2013||Anger Management||Hoffler||Episode: “Charlie and Lacey Piss Off the Neighborhood”|
|2013||Norm Macdonald Live||Himself||2 episodes|
|2015||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Harvey Wrinkleman||Episode: Karen Gillan Wears a Black
and White Striped Pullover and Coral Skirt
|2012–2017||Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee||Himself||2 episodes|
|2004–2017||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Marty Funkhouser||22 episodes|
Awards and Nominations
Primetime Emmy Awards
|1969||Best Writing for a Variety Series||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||Won|
|1972||Best Writing Achievement in Variety or Music||The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour||Nominated|
|1974||Best Writing in Variety or Music||Nominated|
|1976||Best Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Special||Van Dyke and Company||Nominated|
|1977||Best Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Variety or Music Series||Won|