David Lander

David Lander
David Lander 1976.JPG
Lander in 1976
David Leonard Landau

(1947-06-22)June 22, 1947
DiedDecember 4, 2020(2020-12-04) (aged 73)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • comedian
  • composer
  • musician
  • baseball scout
  • activist
Years active1969–2017
(m. 1979)
ChildrenNatalie Lander

David Leonard Landau (June 22, 1947 – December 4, 2020) was an American actor, comedian, musician, and baseball scout, best known for his portrayal of Squiggy in Laverne & Shirley. He also served as a Goodwill ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Early life

David Leonard Landau was born in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest son of two Jewish schoolteacher parents, Stella (Goldman) and Saul Landau.[1][2]

Lander decided to become an actor when he was 10. He studied to become an actor at the High School for the Performing Arts and continued at Carnegie Tech and New York University.[3]


He was best known for his role of Andrew Helmut "Squiggy" Squiggman on the situation comedy Laverne & Shirley from 1976 to 1982 along with sitcom sidekick Lenny, played by Michael McKean.

Lander's partnership with McKean began during their acting classes at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where they developed the characters of Lenny and Squiggy. Lander's character went through a name change because producers felt that there were already too many Italian characters in the cast of "Laverne & Shirley." Therefore, Ant'ny Squiggliano became Andrew Helmut "Squiggy" Squiggman.

After Pittsburgh, they teamed up in the Los Angeles-based comedy ensemble The Credibility Gap. The duo released an album as Lenny and the Squigtones in 1979 featuring Christopher Guest on guitar, credited as Nigel Tufnel, a name Guest would later reuse in the spoof rock band Spinal Tap. Lander and McKean also appeared together in the 1979 Steven Spielberg comedy 1941, and the 1980 Kurt Russell film Used Cars. Lander and McKean lent their vocal talents to the animated TV series Oswald, which ran from 2001 to 2003. Lander and McKean voiced the characters of the penguin cousins Henry and Louie, respectively.

Lander also appeared in numerous other TV shows and movies, including The Bob Newhart Show, Barney Miller, Happy Days (as Squiggy), Viva Valdez, Married... with Children, Twin Peaks, On the Air, The Weird Al Show, Mad About You, Pacific Blue, and The Drew Carey Show. His film roles were more sparse but still memorable; these included the part of a minor league baseball radio announcer in the film, A League of Their Own and a bit part of the minister officiating the marriage ceremony in Say It Isn't So. He also played "Tanning Intruder" in Christmas with the Kranks. Lander created the starring role of the demented fast food franchise clown Bruce Burger in the cult film Funland, directed by Michael A. Simpson.

Lander’s voice acting roles included the "dramatic reproduction" of Elvis Presley quotations for the Pop Chronicles music documentary[4] and the voice of Jerry Lewis in the Filmation series Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down in 1970. He voiced "Doc Boy" Arbuckle, the farm-boy brother of Jon Arbuckle, in most animated adaptations of the Garfield franchise. Later voice roles included The Big Bang, A Bug's Life, Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills, Oswald, Titan A.E., Tom and Jerry: The Movie and the animated TV series Galaxy High as the six-armed Milo de Venus. In 2002, he reprised his role as Squiggy in the animated sitcom The Simpsons. Lander was the voice of Smart Ass, the chief weasel of Judge Doom's Toon Patrol in the 1988 Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Lander reprised his role as Smart Ass on the related ride, but the character was renamed Wiseguy. He was credited as Stephen Lander in Boo, Zino & the Snurks. One of his later roles was that of Ch'p in the DC Comics animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight.

Multiple sclerosis diagnosis and activism

Lander had multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed on May 15, 1984, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he went public in 1999 and regularly spoke at related conventions. In 2002, his autobiography was published, titled Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody (ISBN 1-58542-052-2), written with Lee Montgomery.


Lander, a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, had a small stake in the Portland Beavers. In 1997, He began work as a baseball talent scout, first for the Anaheim Angels, and later for the Seattle Mariners.[5] He was a member of SABR, the baseball sabermetrics organization, for many years.


Lander died of complications from multiple sclerosis at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on December 4, 2020. He was 73 years old.[6][7]


Film credits

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Cracking Up Carl Adler / Alistair Kakowski / Mr. Hickenlooper Credited as The Credibility Gap
1979 1941 Joe
1980 Wholly Moses! The Beggar
Used Cars Freddie Paris
1982 Pandemonium Pepe
1983 Imps* Fritz #1 (segment "Interrogation")
1985 The Man with One Red Shoe Stemple
1987 The Big Bang Fred Voice, English version
Steele Justice Army Guard
Funland Bruce Burger
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Smart Ass Voice
1990 Masters of Menace Squirt
1991 Steel and Lace Schumann
1992 A League of Their Own Radio Sportscaster Uncredited
Tom and Jerry: The Movie Frankie da Flea Voice
1993 Betrayal of the Dove Norman
1994 Ava's Magical Adventure The Mayor
1998 A Bug's Life Thumper Voice, Outtakes
The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mayor Burgabom
1999 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure Bernie Direct-to-video
2000 Titan A.E. The Mayor Voice
Scary Movie Principal "Squiggy" Squiggman
The Tangerine Bear Theodore, Store Clerk Voice, Direct-to-video
2001 Say It Isn't So Reverend Stillwater
Dr. Dolittle 2 Bird Voice
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius Yokian Guard, Gus Voice
2002 Jane White Is Sick & Twisted Gerry King
2004 Christmas with the Kranks Tanning Intruder
2006 Zoom Wendy's Employee
Tomoko's Kitchen Gene Short
2009 Green Lantern: First Flight Ch'p Voice, Direct-to-video

Television credits

Year Title Role Notes
1970–1972 Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down Jerry Lewis Voice, 18 episodes
1972 Love, American Style Voice, Episode: "Love and the Old-Fashioned Father"
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Jud Episode: "Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection"
1974 The Bob Newhart Show Milt the Delivery Boy Episode: "Ship of Shrinks"
1975 Rhoda Mel Towers Episode: "Call Me Grandma"
Barney Miller David Gordon Episode: "Hot Dogs"
1976 Viva Valdez Harry Episode: "Weekend"
1976–1983 Laverne & Shirley Andrew 'Squiggy' Squiggman 156 episodes
1979 Happy Days Andrew 'Squiggy' Squiggman Episode: "Fonzie's Funeral: Part 2"
1984 The Love Boat Arnold Herlick 2 episodes
1985 Highway to Heaven Ed Episode: "The Smile in the Third Row"
George Burns Comedy Week Episode: "The Honeybunnies"
1986 Tall Tales & Legends Mr. Sylvester Episode: "My Darlin' Clementine"
Galaxy High Milo de Venus Voice, 13 episodes
1987 Matlock Eli Walsh Episode: "The Convict"
A Garfield Christmas Doc Boy Voice
1988 Simon & Simon Alvie 'The Weasel' Hortsnagel Episode: "Bad Betty"
1989 Father Dowling Mysteries Eric Becker Episode: "What Do You Call a Call Girl Mystery"
Monsters James Self Episode: "Their Divided Self"
Married... with Children Eli Episode: "Married... with Prom Queen: The Sequel"
Star Trek: The Next Generation Tactician Episode: "Peak Performance"
Knight & Daye Episode: "Stalk Radio"
Freddy's Nightmares Lenny Nordhoff Episode: "Lucky Stiff"
1990 Head of the Class Mr. Freelik Episode: "Alan Goes Crimson"
TaleSpin Weazel Voice, Episode: "Vowel Play"
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Voice, 3 episodes
Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone Voice, 13 episodes
1990–1991 Twin Peaks Tim Pinkle 3 episodes
1991 ProStars Voice
1991–1993 Tom & Jerry Kids Bernie the Swallow Voice, 3 episodes
1992 On the Air Valdja Gochktch 7 episodes
Camp Candy Additional voices Episode: "When It Rains... It Snows"
Batman: The Animated Series Nitro Voice, Episode: "Appointment in Crime Alley"
The Little Mermaid Da Shrimp Voice, 3 episodes
1993 Matrix Freddy Flanagan Episode: "False Witness"
Family Album Mr. DeVito Episode: "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall All You Gotta Do Is Call..."
1994 Getting By Sid Smollen Episode: "Sell It Like It Is"
1994–1995 Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills Lechner Voice, 26 episodes
1994–1996 Saturday Night Live Squiggy 2 episodes
1995 Family Matters Oliver
Dream On The Other Norman Mailer Episode: "Significant Author"
The Nanny The Landlord Episode: "Val's Apartment"
1996 Homeboys in Outer Space Inspector 17 Episode: "House Party or, Play That Funky White Music Droid"
The Tick Filth #4 Voice, Episode: "The Tick vs. Filth"
Superman: The Animated Series Sqweek Voice, 2 episodes
Hey Arnold! Sewer King Voice, Episode: "The Sewer King"
1996–1997 Pacific Blue Elvis Kryzcewski 14 episodes
1996–1998 Jungle Cubs Arthur Voice, 20 episodes
1997 L.A. Heat Cecil Rusk Episode: "In Transit"
Nash Bridges Norman Guilfoyle Episode: "Gun Play"
Johnny Bravo Christopher / Beaver Voice, 2 episodes
Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself Episode: "Boobookitty"
The Weird Al Show Miner Episode: "Mining Accident"
1997–98 The Bold and the Beautiful Dr. Martin 'Marty' Guthrie 12 episodes
101 Dalmatians: The Series Horace Badun Voice, 28 episodes
1998 Diagnosis: Murder Willie Andrews Episode: "Food Fight"
1999 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Postmaster Episode: "Sabrina, the Teenage Writer"
Mad About You Announcer #1 Episode: "Separate Beds"
Arliss Wrestling Promoter Episode: "To Thine Own Self Be True"
Recess Leonard Weems Voice, 2 episodes
2000 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd Caesar Voice, 2 episodes
2001 Black Scorpion Eugene Gardner/Greenthumb Episode: "Roses Are Red, You're Dead"
2001–2003 Oswald Henry Voice, 22 episodes
2002 The Simpsons Squiggy Voice, Episode: "Helter Shelter"
2004 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Brain Voice, Episode: "The Nerve"
2005 Hopeless Pictures Les Voice
2007 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Curtis Voice, Episode: "Wrath of the Spider Queen"
2009 Raising the Bar Jury Foreman Episode: "I'll Be Down to Get You in a Taxi, Honey"
2009–2011 The Garfield Show Doc Boy Voice, 4 episodes
2015 Break a Hip Charlie 6 episodes
2016 SpongeBob SquarePants Donnie the Shark Voice, Episode: "Sharks vs. Pods"
2017 Goldie & Bear Rumpelstiltskin Voice, Episode: "Gnome Family Reunion/Adorable Norm" (final role)

Video games credits

Year Title Role
1997 Lego Island The Brickster, Shark, Gideon Worse
Zork: Grand Inquisitor Voice of the Inquisition, Bickering Torch


  1. ^ "David L. Lander Biography (1947-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Gates, Anita (December 7, 2020). "David L. Lander, Squiggy on 'Laverne & Shirley,' Dies at 73" – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ "David "Squiggy" Lander". National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Show 7 - The All American Boy: Enter Elvis and the rock-a-billies. [Part 1] : UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. March 23, 1969. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Les (May 16, 2004). "Squiggy is in the house: 'Laverne and Shirley' star now M's scout". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "'Laverne & Shirley' Star David Lander, 'Squiggy' Star, Dead at 73". TMZ. December 5, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Mike, Barnes (December 5, 2020). "David L. Lander, Squiggy on 'Laverne & Shirley,' Dies at 73". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2020.

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