Actor Michael McKean shared a sweet and simple memorial for his comedy partner David Lander on social media this weekend. McKean posted a picture of a table adorned with a print photo of Lander and a vase of flowers set outdoors in the sunlight on Saturday night. He had apparently been at a belated memorial service for Lander months after his passing.
"Some memorial services are funnier than others. Thanks for the laughs, pally," McKean wrote. McKean and Lander created the characters Lenny and Squiggy when they were still in college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They took the characters all the way to TV where they were featured on Laverne & Shirley, and then moved into other mediums like rock music and movies. McKean mourned with fans when Lander passed away in December of 2020.
Some memorial services are funnier than others. Thanks for the laughs, pally. pic.twitter.com/mWGFl9rMpf— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) June 20, 2021
According to a report by The Washington Post, Lander passed away on Dec. 4, 2020 in a Los Angeles, California hospital. He was 73 years old, and was survived by his wife, Kathy Fields Lander. Lander had battled multiple sclerosis for 36 years, and it was apparently the cause of his death.
"He was as funny as he always was until the end," McKean said in a public statement at the time. "He was the funniest man I ever knew."
Lander was the first to take a leap of faith and move to L.A. to pursue a career in comedy. He went in 1967, and McKean followed in 1970. They performed in a group of comedians known as The Credibility Gap, which ultimately landed them the job on Laverne & Shirley.
There were a lot of pics of David on display, but we all got to take one of these home. pic.twitter.com/EDb3rpgdVY— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) June 20, 2021
Lander was diagnosed with M.S. in 1984, and managed to use his platform to help others suffering from the disease. His wife told reporters that the turning point came when Lander was honored with a fundraiser by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Dinner of Champions.0comments
"It changed our lives forever," she said. "He went on to do speaking engagements around the country, talking about his life and how he copes." Lander also wrote a memoir about the experience called Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody. When it was published, he said: "I guess my biggest use now is in helping anyone with this disease by putting a face on it. And it's a face that is still walking."
Fans mourned with McKean this weekend for an icon in the entertainment industry and a powerful story of perseverance. Other posts from the memorial service are circulating as well.