TV One Remembers Comedic Genius, David A. Arnold

by Jhanaya Belle

September 9, 2022

Photo by: David A. Arnold/Instagram

Comedian, writer, and producer David A. Arnold passed away, on Wednesday, September 7th. He was 54.

The Arnold family confirmed the news of his passing on Wednesday, September 7th, according to Deadline.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our husband, father, brother and friend, David A. Arnold. David passed away peacefully today in his home and doctors have ruled the cause of death due to natural causes. Please keep our family in prayer and respect our privacy at this time, as we are all shocked and devastated by this loss.”

Photo by: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Janie’s Fund

Arnold began his career as a stand-up comedian, appearing on Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza on Comedy Central and other shows like the Montreal Comedy Festival.

The Cleveland native contributed to a number of comedic television shows as a writer, such as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, The Rickey Smiley Show on TV One, Raising Whitley on OWN, and Meet the Browns on TBS, among others.

Photo by: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Janie’s Fund

He also produced the popular Nickelodeon series That Girl Lay Lay and served as executive producer, showrunner, and creator of the show, making him one of the few Black showrunners in Hollywood.

“We are shocked and incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of our dear friend and creative partner, David A. Arnold,” Nickelodeon said in a statement.

They continued.

“David was an immense talent and a gifted storyteller with a wide range of fans, from adults through his stand-up, to kids and families through the Nickelodeon show he created and executive produced for us, That Girl Lay Lay. On behalf of everyone at Nickelodeon, we send our thoughts and condolences to his family, his friends and his fans.”

The 54-year-old has two Netflix comedy specials available: It Ain’t for The Weak which premiered on July 19th, and David A. Arnold: Fat Ballerina which premiered in 2019.

Arnold was three stops into a four-month-long national comedy tour when he passed away unexpectedly.

Many of Arnold’s fans were devastated after learning about the tragic news.

“Watched the #DavidArnold special a few weeks ago and the way he talked about his family and raising his daughters was hitting me hard. I was supposed to be laughing but I was tearing up at parts,” one fan tweeted.

Another fan tweeted, “Rest In Peace to David Arnold. 🕊 I am sure he is proud of the life he lived. Are you proud of yours so far? If not, get active and change it. Only you can determine the quality of your life experience.”

“What is the right time? SMH really saddened by this. Condolences 💐 to David Arnold’s family 💐💕,” one person expressed.

Celebrities were also devastated when they learned about Arnold’s passing.

Comedian Raj Sharma tweeted, “RIP David Arnold. You were kind, genuine and insanely funny. Thank you for all your kind words and hilarious stories over the years. We lost a great one. Love to your family and friends.”

Actress Holly Robinson Peete also spoke highly of David A. Arnold, and how much of a light he was within the world.

“David💔🙏🏾😢 you were a light and you will continue to be. During 2020 your hilarious content got me through some tough days. Sending all my love, healing energy & sympathies to your beautiful family. Thank you so much for everything you gave us. Rest In Love, David Arnold… 🙏🏾💔”

Robin Thede tweeted that losing the comedic giant was simply unfair. “Losing David Arnold is absolutely unfair.”

The Real’s Loni Love urged fans to watch the late comedian’s comedy specials, and called Arnold a comedic genius.

“Check out David Arnold’s @netflix comedy specials.. he was a comedy genius #rip.”

David A. Arnold is survived by his wife Julie L. Harkness, and two children, Anna-Grace and Ashlyn.

We send our thoughts and prayers to David A. Arnold’s loved ones at this time.

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