David Steinberg (born August 9, 1942) is a Canadian Jewish comedian, actor, director, writer and author. He was one of the best-known stand-up comics in the United States during the late 1960s and appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show 140 times. Steinberg also directed episodes of many the most successful television comedies of the last fifteen years, including Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad About You, Friends and over 35 episodes of Designing Women.
Born into a Jewish family in Winnipeg, Manitoba, David Steinberg began his comedy career at The Second City in Chicago in 1964.
One of Steinberg's most notorious performances was on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he did satirical sermons. The sketch caused CBS to receive the most complaints they'd ever had. The Smothers Brothers were told by the network that they could have Steinberg on the show again, on the condition that he would not do the sermons again. Nevertheless, Tommy Smothers asked Steinberg to do it again, and he did a sermon in which he said "The Old Testament scholars say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. The Gentiles, the New Testament scholars say, 'Hold it, Jews, no.' They literally grabbed the Jews by the Old Testament." This incident helped lead to the cancellation of the show. The Jonah sketch never aired.