Recently, The New York Times called David Steinberg “a comic institution himself”. A legendary comedian of the 60’s through the 80’s, David is now regarded as one of the best and most creative directors working in television today. He has directed numerous episodes of Friends, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Newhart and Designing Women, which he also executive produced. More recently, David has directed for the hit series Weeds and is now in his eighth season directing Curb Your Enthusiasm. His work on Seinfeld, Mad About You and Curb Your Enthusiasm has earned him several DGA and Emmy awards and nominations.
David Steinberg was born in 1942 and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. At the age of 16, he left home to study theology at yeshiva. At the University of Chicago, after seeing a performance of The Second City, David was inspired to start a comedy act called Kadish and Steinberg. When some Second City members saw David’s act, he was invited to join the company. He stayed for four years. In the late 60’s he moved on to Broadway, starring with Elliot Gould in Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders and Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights, directed by Sidney Poitier. From there he moved to stand up comedy opening at the Bitter End in 1969. He received a rave review from the The New York Times, calling him a cross between Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. After his first appearance on the “The Tonight Show”, David became one of Johnny Carson’s most popular guests and guest hosts, with 140 appearances—second only to Bob Hope. In the early ’70s David capped a prolific stand up carreer with four comedy albums, two Grammy nominations, and a successful nightclub act at the Bitter End.
David is also known for the memorable parts he created on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. His “Existentialist Psychiatrist” first coined the popular phrase “Booga Booga!” and his satiric and controversial “sermons” caused the Smothers Brothers to be thrown off the air. David also wrote and starred in The Music Scene for ABC, as well as The David Steinberg Show—a summer replacement hit for CBS in 1972. In 1974, David was scheduled to be on the cover of Newsweek alongside Richard Pryor and Lily Tomlin, only to be bumped last minute by his nemesis, Richard Nixon. Returning to Canada, David did a sitcom dealing with a behind the scenes look at a variety show, and introduced to television John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara. The group would ultimately become known as SCTV.
Feature films that David has directed include Paternity starring Burt Reynolds, Going Berserk starring John Candy, Joe Flaherty and Eugene Levy, and The Wrong Guy starring Jennifer Tilly and Dave Foley. A director of over 300 commercials, David has also won virtually every award in advertising, including two Clio Awards and the prestigious Silver Lion Award at the Cannes International Film Festival.
As a writer, David won the Playboy Humor Award for his parody of the novel Ragtime, and an Emmy Award nomination for the television special This Is Sholem Aleichem. In 2007, Simon and Schuster published David’s memoir about his life in comedy called The Book of David.
From 2005-2007, David was the executive producer, creator and host of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg, a one-on-one interview series shot live in front of an audience at UCLA. Stars include Larry David, Mike Myers, Martin Short, George Lopez, Bob Newhart, Jon Lovitz, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr and Garry Shandling.
Recently, David and Steve Carell executive produced Inside Comedy, a documentary series that chronicled the evolution of comedy over the past five decades. It premiered on Showtime January 26th, 2012. Among the comedians interviewed by David, are veterans Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Don Rickles, and Jonathan Winters. Others include, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Carell, Ellen DeGeneres, Marty Short, Gary Shandling, Steven Wright, Brad Garrett and Robin Williams, as well as more recent stars Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Jane Lynch, and Kathy Griffin, Bette Midler, Jimmy Fallon, Key & Peele, Jonah Hill and more.
Season 4 of Inside Comedy will premiere on May 5th, 2015 and will include Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Wanda Sykes, Cheech and Chong, Jeffrey Tambor and more.
David is now directing his 9th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (2017).