10 Days of Canadian Humour – Day 5

David Steinberg was born in Winnipeg, the son of a rabbi. He was destined to be a rabbi as well until he attended a performance by Lenny Bruce and decided he wanted to be a comic as well. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson more than 130 times (second only to Bob Hope) and served as guest host 12 times, the youngest person ever to guest-host.

One of Steinberg’s most notorious performances was in October 1968 on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he gave satirical sermons. The sketch caused CBS to receive a record number of complaints. The Smothers Brothers were told by the network that they could have Steinberg on the show again on the condition that he would not repeat the sermons. Nevertheless, Tommy Smothers asked Steinberg to do it again. This incident contributed to the cancellation of the show. The Jonah sketch was never aired by CBS. It appears at the 26 minute mark of the video below.

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