Tom Davis, a writer who with Al Franken helped develop some of the most popular skits in the early years of "Saturday Night Live," is being remembered by his former partner as "a great friend ... and so funny."

The 59-year-old Davis died Thursday of throat and neck cancer at his home in the Hudson Valley, north of New York City. He was diagnosed in 2009.

As performers, Davis was the quiet guy, overshadowed by the flashier Franken, now a Democratic senator from Minnesota.

Franken says he spoke with Davis's mother Thursday, and she recalled fondly all the laughter that would come from the basement when the two first got started in comedy.

He says, "I visited Tom two weeks ago, and though he was deathly ill, we did a lot of laughing. He was a great friend, a good man, and so funny."