David A. Arnold, Comedian and Creator of Nickelodeon's That Girl Lay Lay , Dead at 54

·2 min read
David A. Arnold: It Ain't For The Weak. David A. Arnold in David A. Arnold: It Ain't For The Weak.
David A. Arnold: It Ain't For The Weak. David A. Arnold in David A. Arnold: It Ain't For The Weak.

Zac Popik/Netflix

David A. Arnold, a standup comedian who was also the creator and showrunner of Nickelodeon's That Girl Lay Lay, has died. He was 54.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm the untimely passing of our husband, father, brother and friend, David A. Arnold," his family said Wednesday in a statement obtained by Variety.

"David passed away peacefully today in his home and doctors have ruled the cause of death due to natural causes," the statement continued. "Please keep our family in prayer and respect our privacy at this time as we are all shocked and devastated by this loss."

Arnold is survived by his wife, Julie Harkness, and daughters Anna Grace and Ashlyn Elizabeth.

Representatives for Arnold did not immediately request PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Comedian David Arnold performs on day five of the NOHO Comedy Festival at Ha Ha Cafe Comedy Club on May 19, 2018 in North Hollywood, California.
Comedian David Arnold performs on day five of the NOHO Comedy Festival at Ha Ha Cafe Comedy Club on May 19, 2018 in North Hollywood, California.

Michael S. Schwartz/Getty

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Known for his comedic takes on married and family life, Arnold's first Netflix standup special, Fat Ballerina, debuted in 2019. His second, It Ain't for the Weak, debuted on the platform earlier this year in July — and was produced by fellow comedian Kevin Hart.

Beyond his work as a standup comedian, Arnold was also the creator and showrunner for Nickelodeon's That Girl Lay Lay. The show follows an avatar, Lay Lay, that comes to life and becomes best friends with her owner Sadie as they navigate teenage life.

The series first premiered in September 2021 and was renewed for Season 2 in January, Variety reported.

At the time of his death, Arnold was in the middle of his comedy tour, Pace Ya Self. He was scheduled to perform dates in New Jersey later this month and had tickets for sale through March 2023.

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Fellow comedian and close friend to Arnold, Chris Spencer, released a statement following his death.

"Our closely knit comedy community mourns the loss of one of the greatest to ever do it," said Spencer, per The Hollywood Reporter. "He was admired by his peers, respected by other veterans, and revered by the burgeoning comedians that he mentored. He will be deeply missed, especially by his comedy fraternity."