The funnyman was only three shows into his Pace Ya Self four month national comedy tour when it happened, per the New York Post. He died “from natural causes” at his home, according to his family. He is survived by his wife Julie Harkness and their two daughters, Anna-Grace and Ashlyn.
Arnold was best known for serving as showrunner for Nickelodeon’s “That Girl Lay Lay” and being a producer on the “Fuller House” reboot. He also starred in the 2019 comedy special “David A. Arnold: Fat Ballerina.”
His second special, “It Ain’t For The Weak,” which was produced by Kevin Hart, came to Netflix this July.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our husband, father, brother and friend, David A. Arnold,” the comedian’s family told the LA Times in a statement. “David passed away peacefully today in his home and doctors have ruled the cause of death due to natural causes.”
It continued, “Please keep our family in prayer and respect our privacy at this time, as we are all shocked and devastated by this loss.”
One week before his death, Arnold had a conversation with Jalen Rose at The Post about his comedy inspiration. He said he did poorly at his first open mic night, but was inspired to try again thanks to comedian D.L. Hughley.
“And the next thing you know, I was a comedian,” Arnold 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.”
Friends took to social media to share their sadness over his passing.
“Devastated to hear of the passing of David A. Arnold. He was a beloved member of our Fuller House writing team, one of the funniest comedians I’ve ever seen & an all-around wonderful man,” TV writer and producer Bryan Behar wrote. “David was finally experiencing the fruits of decades of work. May his memory be a blessing.”
“One of Cleveland’s finest has left the stage and way too soon. 54 is too young. #RIP @DavidAArnold This does not feel real,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown shared on her Twitter.
“I’ve known you for 20 years. An amazing human and comic. Heartbroken @DavidAArnold,” Bobby Lee wrote.