Davis died in his home in Hudson, N.Y. after battling throat and neck cancer, his wife, Mimi Raleigh, told the newspaper.
A Minneapolis native, Davis met his future comedy partner Franken in private school. After college, he and Franken moved to Los Angeles to do stand-up, where they caught the eye of SNL creator Lorne Michaels. Davis and Franken were two of the first writers hired for the show, which debuted in 1975. He helped mold famous sketches like "The Coneheads" and performer Dan Aykroyd's famous impersonation of chef Julia Child. He and Franken also appeared on-screen as a duo in sketches like "The Brain Tumor Comedian."
Davis worked at SNL until 1980 and then returned to the writers room from 1986 to 1994. During this time, he also co-starred with Franken in the 1986 film One More Saturday Night and collaborated on the 1993 big-screen adaptation of The Coneheads. He also won four Emmys, three of which are for his writing on SNL. Although he retired in the mid-1990s, Davis wrote for SNL as recently as 2003. He also recently worked on a version of the long-rumored Ghostbusters III with Aykroyd.
Davis and Franken split in 1990, but reconciled a decade later. Davis agreed to wait to publish his tell-all memoir, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There, until after Franken was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.
Davis is survived by his wife, mother and brother.