A performer who was known as one of the great so-called "second bananas" on Broadway was an important part of the cast of a number of historic shows, not part of an extended fruit nosh. David Burns was in the Music Man in 1957 and Hello Dolly in 1964, for example, working with such great stars as Carol Channing and Eileen Brennan. Sometimes confused with the jazz trumpeter Dave Burns, and not related to the movie character actor of the same name, the Broadway performer gave his all to a series of supporting roles. In a typical production, his part would be granted one solo song; in Hello Dolly, "It Takes a Woman" was Burns' chance in the spotlight.
As a singer, Burns has performed with the Kenton Alumni Band, a big band project that involves both former players and repertoire of various Stan Kenton ensembles. The era of his type of performer may have passed into legend on Broadway, with one writer even regretfully announcing that Burns' portrait had been stolen off the wall at Sardi's in New York City. Nonetheless, the popularity of reissue compilations of classic song material from Broadway hits keeps the reputation of this artist alive in homes other than wherever that stolen portrait happens to be hung.