Industry insiders have expressed shock at the sudden passing away of David A. Arnold, a standup comedian who was renowned for Nickelodeon's That Girl Lay Lay. He died peacefully on Wednesday at the age of 54, Arnold's family said in a statement. Arnold died in his home. Doctors have ruled the cause of death due to natural causes. The comedian was three stops into a four-month national comedy standup tour – "Pace Ya Self".
He is survived by his wife Julie L. Harkness, and two children Anna-Grace, and Ashlyn Elizabeth.
Arnold Was One of the Black Showrunners in Hollywood
Being the creator, executive producer and showrunner on Nickelodeon's hit series That Girl Lay Lay, Arnold was one of the few Black showrunners in Hollywood. The show is about an avatar that comes to life to help a teenage girl and her friends navigate their lives. He wrote for several comedy series such as Meet the Browns (TBS), The Rickey Smiley Show (TV One), Raising Whitley (OWN) and Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS).
David A. Arnold: Fat Ballerina his first stand-up comedy special on Netflix debuted in 2019. Arnold's follow-up comedy special on the streamer It Ain't For The Weak premiered on July 19. He also wrote episode's of The Real Husbands of Hollywood. Arnold recently penned instalments of BET+'s Bigger and Netflix's Fuller House.
Community Mourns Loss
Comedian Chris Spencer, who was Arnold's close friend, said the comedian community mourns the loss of one of the greatest to ever do it. He highlighted that Arnold was admired by his peers, respected by other veterans, and revered by the burgeoning comedians that he mentored.