News / TV

R.I.P. Danny Breen

Danny Breen made his mark in front of the camera as a cast member for eight seasons on HBO’s sketch comedy series, Not Necessarily The News.

But Breen also won multiple Emmys for his work behind the scenes on a producer for Ellen and The Wayne Brady Show. An alum of The Second City, he made audiences laugh for four decades. Breen died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after battling cancer for seven years. He was 67.

“A genuine, talented, funny man. He loved Second City and Second City loved him,” said The Second City’s CEO, Andrew Alexander.

Here’s the full note from The Second City on Breen’s passing:

In 1975, Danny Breen came to Chicago from Cleveland, OH, to visit his good friend Miriam Flynn and to see her on the Second City stage. He thought, “I can do that” and moved to Chicago to begin his improvisation career. Danny was a part of the Reification Company and Second City, where he created so many memorable scenes. He also taught at Columbia College while living in Chicago. At the suggestion of fellow alum Audrie Neenan, Danny moved out to LA with his then-wife, Nonie Newton, to write for Not Necessarily the News. He went on to produce and write for many television shows, such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway? Danny continued to improvise and performed all over the world. If you ask anyone about Danny Breen, they’ll tell you, “nicest guy ever.” We’ll miss you.

Danny is survived by his beloved children Spencer and Riley Breen and grandchildren Alisa and Alana Breen. There will be a memorial with a date to be determined.

Breen’s TV and film credits also included Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, That 80s Show, According to Jim, The Drew Carey Show, Mad About You, Ellen, Martin, Frasier, Dream On, Full House, The Wonder Years, and The Golden Girls.

He poked fun at his career in a 2011 video for The Second City about going Hollywood:

You can hear Danny Breen talk about his life and career in his own words in this podcast episode of A.D.D. Comedy.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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