Tom Johnson Dies: Emmy-Winning Comedy Writer For ‘The Daily Show’ Was 55

Tom Johnson, who won two Emmy Awards for his comedy writing, died Jan.14 at his home in Los Angeles at 55. No cause of death has been established.

During his career, Johnson collaborated with comedic talent including Joan Rivers, Greg Giraldo, Jon Stewart, Marc Maron, Arsenio Hall, George Lopez, Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, Nikki Glaser, and Anthony Jeselnik, among others.

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In 1996, Johnson was hired on the original staff of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with host Craig Kilborn, and remained on staff when Jon Stewart assumed the role three years later.

Johnson wrote on more than 1,200 episodes and was one of the authors of the New York Times bestseller, America: The Book. Johnson won two Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards for his work on The Daily Show, but is perhaps best known for appearing on camera as anonymous hacker “Lord Viper Scorpion,” who mercilessly destroyed Stewart’s online reputation while taunting the host to “feel his sting.”

From 2007 to 2009, he served as head writer for Talk Show with Spike Feresten, the Fox network’s longest-running late night show. He went on to work as a head writer on Lopez Tonight and would later cocreate The Jeselnik Offensive with Anthony Jeselnik, where he served as an executive producer and head writer.

His other television writing credits include the Grammy Awards, the Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, the MTV Movie Awards, and the Inside the NBA All-Star Roast, and more.

Survivors include his wife, Rozie Bacchi, sisters Pamela Dawn Foels and Cindy Johnson Doerr, brothers-in-law Stephen Foels and Steve Doerr, nieces Jennifer Lynne Sims, Amanda Jean Strathman, Brooke Alexandra Beck and their spouses, great nieces Cameron Hazel Sims and Zoey Violet Strathman, and cats Billie, Sal, and Mama.

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