March 29, 1946|
Long Island, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 3, 1994
Culver City, California, U.S.
|Medium||Stand up, Television|
|Subject(s)||Self-deprecation, Human behavior, Religion, Human sexuality, Education|
Dennis Wolfberg (March 29, 1946 – October 3, 1994) was an American stand up comedian and actor.
Born on March 29, 1946 on Long Island to Frances and Sidney Wolfberg, Dennis was a schoolteacher before launching a full-time comedy career in 1979. Wolfberg attended Queens College where he received a master's degree in clinical psychology.
Wolfberg married fellow comedian Jeannie McBride on September 8, 1985; the couple had three sons, Daniel and twins Matthew and David.
Dennis began his comedy career in New York City at the Comic Strip. Although he always wanted to be a comedian, he auditioned as a singer, playing his Martin guitar. Fortuitously, his audition piece was the Comic Strip's owner's favorite song: "American Pie." Wolfberg appeared twice on The Tonight Show. In addition, he was a frequent guest on The Merv Griffin Show, The Pat Sajak Show and The Arsenio Hall Show. He starred in his own half-hour comedy special on HBO in 1990. He also had a recurring role as Gooshie on NBC's Quantum Leap, and in April 1993 Entertainment Tonight aired "A Day in the Life of Dennis Wolfberg," focusing on his relentless touring schedule.
Dennis was managed by George Shapiro of Shapiro/West Associates.
He headlined at comedy clubs across the country as well as working in Las Vegas and Atlantic City on a regular basis. He was twice named America's top male comic in votes by clubgoers and owners nationwide. In 1990 he won an American Comedy Award as best male standup.
Wolfberg died of melanoma on October 3, 1994, aged 48. Though he battled cancer for at least two years, he continued to work through the end of August 1994. At the time of his death, he was negotiating a deal for his own TV show.
Filmography & TV Appearances
- Comedy Club Greats (2007)
- Best of the Improv Volume 4 (2002)
- Comic Strip Live!
- The Clairvoyant - Comedian (1982) - aka The Killing Hour (1985) (USA: video title), aka The Killing Kind (1985) (USA: video title)
- Late Night with David Letterman - Guest - 860428 (1986)
- Quantum Leap
- - Gooshie - "Genesis" - (1989)
- - Gooshie - "The Leap Back" (1991)
- - Gooshie - "Lee Harvey Oswald" (1992)
- - Gooshie - "Killin' Time" (1992)
- - Gooshie - "Mirror Image" (1993)
- The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson - Guest - Show #3026 (1984) and #3708 (1987)
- To Tell the Truth-panelist-April 29-May 3, 1991 week of shows.
- Teacher Teacher (1990) (TV short), Plot Outline: Wolfberg relived some of his finest moments as a teacher, and proves that in a tough classroom, a good sense of humor is the most essential weapon.
- Frank Chindamo's Shorts - A collection of Frank Chindamo's comic short subjects, which explore modern mishaps related to such subjects as phone sex, radio psychology, jelly donuts, styling mousse, angry cats, blind dates, bondage, and Gilbert Gottfried with x-ray vision.
3. Personal information provided by Jeannie McBride, Dennis' widow.