The Saturday Night Live writer succumbed to throat and neck cancer at his home in Hudson, New York, aged 59, and Franken insists his passing is a huge loss for the comedy world.
He tells Minnesota news station WCCO-TV, “Today is a sad day for all of us who loved Tom. I spoke with his mom this afternoon and she recalled fondly all the laughter that would come from the basement when Tom and I first got started in comedy.
“Though he was deathly ill, we did a lot of laughing. He was a great friend, a good man and so funny.”
Franken and Davis were among the first writers hired for SNL in 1975, and together they produced some of its most memorable sketches, including Dan Aykroyd’s Coneheads and Bill Murray’s Nick the Lounge Singer, and won multiple Emmys for their work on the show.
Davis also had small roles in the Coneheads movie, Blues Brothers 2000 and Trading Places.