• John Burghardt

"Merry Christmas from Lenny & the Squigtones!" R.I.P. David Lander

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

It was a sad and yet triumphant day to hear of the passing of David Lander! Lander had lived with Multiple Sclerosis for more than 36 years of his life until his recent passing on December 4, 2020, at the age of 73. He spoke regularly as an activist for MS and even made his experience the title of his autobiography, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody.

David L. Lander was born on June 22, 1947 as David Leonard Landau in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied acting at the High School for the Performing Arts and continued at Carnegie Tech and New York University. Love ya my native NYC brother!

He was an actor, musician, comedian and baseball scout!

The role of Squiggy, on the hit TV show Laverne & Shirley, was what he is best known for. I have forever etched his persona of Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman into my life with one word, "Hello". Being a devoted Laverne & Shirley fan, I couldn't wait for Squiggy to make his entrance with his melodious and iconic "Hello" with his best friend Lenny in tow, as portayed by Michael McKean.

David not only made his way as an actor in front of the camera , but he was also a voice actor. His voice acting credits are highlighted with his "dramatic reproduction" of Elvis Presley quotations for Pop Chronicles a music documentary and as the voice of Jerry Lewis in the Filmation series Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down. Other voice roles included The Big Bang, A Bugs Life, Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills, Oswald, Titan A.E., Tom & Jerry: The Movie and the animated TV series Galaxy High. I especially loved hearing him reprise his role of Squiggy on the animated sitcom The Simpsons and the lending of his voice to Smart Ass, the chief weasel of Judge Doom's Toon Patrol in the 1988 Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

One of his later roles was that of Ch'p in the DC Comics animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight. "I am a proud, geeky, fan boy, comic book nerd and David Lander I salute you for this role!"

David Lander was a passionate baseball fan! He was a Pittsburgh Pirates fan and had a small stake in the minor league team, the Portland Beavers. He was a member of SABR, the baseball sabermetrics organization, for many years and was a baseball talent scout for the Anaheim Angels and the Seattle Mariners.

I'm sure it was a proud moment for David to portay a radio announcer for a minor league baseball team in A League of Their Own, a film directed by his former Laverne & Shirley co-star, Penny Marshall.

Thank you David Lander for all the good you did for others!

Thank you Squiggy for being a part of my life!

David Lander, you will be missed!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!