David A. Arnold, Comedian & Netflix Star, Dead at 54

by Taylor Cunningham

David A. Arnold, a well-known comedian who headlined two Netflix specials, died on Wednesday, September 7. He was 54.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our husband, father, brother, and friend, David A. Arnold,” his family shared with the LA Times. “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,” they concluded.

The star had most recently released a documentary titled David A. Arnold: It Aint for the Week. And he was three shows into his stational stand-up tour, Pace Ya Self. Arnold also worked behind the scenes as a producer and writer for several hit series.

From 2018 to 2020, he served as a producer and writer for Fuller House. He also penned 12 scripts for House of Payne.

Arnold spoke with The New York Times just one week before his passing. During an interview, he explained how he earned his illustrious career.

Another Famous Comedian Urged David A. Arnold to Give His Comedic Career a Shot

As David A. Arnold shared with the publication, his first attempt at standup bombed. So he walked away from the stage. But after serving in the Navy, actor and comedian D.L. Hughley urged him to try again.

“The next thing you know, I was a comedian,” he said. “And that’s when I realized: You gotta bomb. You got to take it in the face and you still got to want to do it.”

The comic world first noticed Arnold after he wrote for the Montreal Comedy Festival and then starred in Jamie Foxx Presents Laffapalooza. Thanks to those projects, he landed two Netflix specials—the first was David A. Arnold: Fat Ballerina in 2019 and his second was It Ain’t For The Weak this past July.

While speaking to The Post, he recalled the day he realized he wanted to be a comedian.

“I didn’t know that it was something you could do,” he shared. “I just saw somebody in my TV making my mother and aunts laugh the way they were laughing. And I’m like, ‘These people normally be cussing me out.’ I ain’t never see these people laugh in my life.”

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