Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business.
Born in Manhattan, New York, on April 4, 1965, Robert Downey Jr. is the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford). Downey Jr.’s paternal grandfather, originally surnamed “Elias”, was from a Lithuanian Jewish family, while Robert’s other ancestry is Irish, Hungarian, Scottish, English, German, and Swiss-German. He and his sister Allyson were immersed in film and the performing arts from a very young age, leading Downey Jr. to study at the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York, before moving to California in 1978.
Downey Jr. made his debut as an actor at the age of five in the film Pound (1970), written and directed by his father, Robert Downey Sr.. He built his film repertoire throughout the 1980s and 1990s with roles in Tuff Turf (1985), Weird Science (1985), True Believer (1989), and Wonder Boys (2000) among many others. In 1992, Downey received an Academy Award nomination and won the BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of Chaplin (1992).
In Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993), he appeared as an aspiring film make-up artist whose best friend commits murder. In Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994), with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, Downey starred as a tabloid TV journalist who exploits a murderous couple’s killing spree to boost his ratings. For the comedy Heart and Souls (1993), Downey starred as a young man with a special relationship with four ghosts. In 1995, Downey starred in Restoration (1995), with Hugh Grant, Meg Ryan and Ian McKellen, directed by Michael Hoffman. Also that year, he starred in Richard III (1995), in which he appears opposite his Restoration (1995) co-star McKellen.
In 1997, Downey was seen in Robert Altman’s The Gingerbread Man (1998), alongside Kenneth Branagh, Daryl Hannah and Embeth Davidtz; in One Night Stand (1997), directed by Mike Figgis and starring Wesley Snipes and Nastassja Kinski; and in Hugo Pool (1997), directed by his father, Robert Downey Sr. and starring Sean Penn and Patrick Dempsey. In September of 1999, Downey appeared in Black and White (1999), written and directed by James Toback, along with Ben Stiller, Elijah Wood, Gaby Hoffmann, Brooke Shields and Claudia Schiffer. In January of 1999, he starred with Annette Bening and Aidan Quinn in In Dreams (1999), directed by Neil Jordan.
In 2000, Downey co-starred with Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire in Wonder Boys (2000), directed by Curtis Hanson. In this dramatic comedy, Downey played the role of a bisexual literary agent. In 2001, Downey made his prime-time television debut when he joined the cast of the Fox-TV series Ally McBeal (1997) as attorney “Larry Paul”. For this role, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Comedy Series. In addition, Downey was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
He marked his debut into music with his debut album, titled “The Futurist”, on the Sony Classics Label on November 23rd, 2004. The album’s eight original songs, that Downey wrote, and his two musical numbers debuting as cover songs revealed his sultry singing voice and his musical talents. Downey displayed his versatility in two different films in October 2003: the musical/drama The Singing Detective (2003), a remake of the BBC hit of the same name, and the thriller Gothika (2003) starring Halle Berry and Penélope Cruz. Downey starred in powerful yet humbling roles inspired by real-life accounts of some of history’s most precious kept secrets, including Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly (2006) in 2006 co-starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson, and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) co-starring Nicole Kidman, a film inspired by the life of Diane Arbus, the revered photographer whose images captured attention in the early 1960s. These roles exhibited Downey’s momentum from the previous year of 2005, in which he starred in the Academy Award®-nominated feature film Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), directed by George Clooney and in Shane Black’s action comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) co-starring Val Kilmer. In 2007, he co-starred in David Fincher’s suspenseful _Zodiac (2007/I)_ alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo, about the notorious serial killer who haunted San Francisco during the 1970s.
In May 2008, Downey achieved critical acclaim and worldwide box office success for his starring role in Iron Man (2008), Jon Favreau’s big-screen rendering of the Marvel comic book superhero. The film co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. In August of 2008, Downey starred with Ben Stiller and Jack Black in the comedy Tropic Thunder (2008), and went on to receive an Academy Award®-nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his, Kirk Lazarus.
In December 2009, Downey starred in the action-adventure Sherlock Holmes (2009). The film, directed by Guy Ritchie, co-starred Jude Law and Rachel McAdams and earned Downey a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical in January of 2010. In early Summer 2010, Downey re-teamed with director Jon Favreau and reprised his role as “Tony Stark/Iron Man” in the hugely successful sequel to the original film, Iron Man 2 (2010), starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Mickey Rourke.
Downey next starred in Due Date (2010), a comedy directed by Todd Phillips, in which he plays the role of an expectant father on a road trip racing to get back in time for the birth of his first child. Due Date (2010), starring The Hangover (2009)’s Zach Galifianakis, was released in November 2010.
Downey was honored by Time Magazine’s “Time 100” in 2008, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His laurels include two Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe wins, numerous other award nominations and wins, and tremendous popular and commercial success, particularly in his roles as Sherlock Holmes and Tony Stark (the latter of which he has so far played in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
(Credits: Bio – IMDB, Photo – Getty Images)
Starting his comedy career in late November 1997 on Open Mic Night at the Comedy House Theatre in Savannah, Georgia, Spanky Brown has been leaving audiences reeling with laughter ever since.
Spanky has toured the world sharing his unique perspective and opinions on everything from his life, politics and religion, race relations and relationships. Versatility and style best describe this veteran performer who provides comedic insights that transcend all barriers, age, gender, urban or mainstream. Crowds are no obstacle for this entertainer .
His personal account of triumphs and tragedies and unbridled opinions are for all those who really try to “keep it real “. His experiences as a “Preacher’s Son” (even God knows he’s funny), as an advertising executive, car salesman, insurance salesman, radio personality, father, step-father, being married, divorced, married and divorced…again ( you do the math ) even served time … in the army that is, and his honesty about it is what makes him such an endearing character as much as his willingness to let you in so you can see that truly “it could be worse”.
Spanky is a 16-year veteran of the comedy stage. He tours nationally on a consistent basis and is one of the most requested return comedians in comedy clubs around the United States.
The small screen loves Spanky. He is seen regularly on B.E.T’s Comic View and Comedy Central. Spanky has been featured on Discovery I.D. and the Speed Network. He is also the former host of “Barbershop Critics” on The Black Family Channel.
Spanky’s real life comedy style shines on radio. He is a former contributing writer and frequent guest on National Syndicated shows like “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and “The Bob and Tom Radio Show”, respectively. His standup is played frequently on XM / Sirius Satellite radio and NOW, the next phase of his WORLD DOMINATION (or, in other words…SPANK-APOCALYPSE!!!). Follow him on twitter. Visit his website here.
Michael Waltrip is a winning professional racecar driver, founder and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, a widely recognized network racing commentator and author of a best-selling biography. Waltrip is a two-time winner of NASCAR’s crown jewel event, the Daytona 500, and is one of only two drivers in history to hold victories in NASCAR’s three top tier divisions over four consecutive decades. Waltrip still competes on a limited basis, posting two top 10 finishes in just four events in 2013. In recent years, Waltrip has driven in international events, competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona, as well as events in Spa, Belgium, Sebring and Dubai.
The Kentucky native founded Michael Waltrip Racing and his organization brought Toyota Motor Corporation into NASCAR Sprint Cup racing in 2007, where his teams have won seven times and finished runner-up in the championship standings in 2012. As an expert commentator on Fox Sports 1 for the Camping World Truck series and an analyst for NASCAR on FOX during NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Waltrip has established himself as one of the industry’s most respected voices and biggest personalities.
In 2011, Michael published his best-selling book In the Blink of an Eye, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his historic 2001 Daytona 500 victory on the same day his mentor, boss, friend and owner, Dale Earnhardt, perished on the final lap. His story spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Away from the track, Waltrip has competed in four marathons, including the Boston Marathon and his own marathon event, which raised more than $1,000,000 for charity. His humorous demeanor launched a multi-stop Comedy Tour in 2010. Follow him on twitter.
Jeff Oskay has made finding faults in himself and others an art form. Through his tales of ‘Bad Life Choices’, he shows us that we are all human and that we should all laugh at ourselves. Whether you’re eighteen or eighty, you will find his comedy accessible and hilarious. Along with comedy, he’s divorced, has a child, always take the easy way out, and once had a day job where he did nothing but slice fruit for nine hours straight every day, seven days a week. He also appeared on the B&T album “Crushed Nuts” and hosts his own podcast. Follow Jeff on facebook and twitter.
Costaki Economopoulos is a comedian, true, but he’s also a football fan. Those two factors alone make him the perfect candidate to give us a comedic look back at the NFL each week with his new feature that’s also been picked up by The Huffington Post and Bleacher Report. With his Greek heritage, it’s not surprising that he’s been described as a “joke philosopher,” and we’re sure he’s not the only one saying that. Costaki is also a talented joke writer who’s punchlines have been heard on “The Tonight Show,” Showtime, BET, and MTV. Follow Costaki on facebook and twitter. Visit his website here.
Whether talking about cake, bacon, wearing robes, or getting sick from eating hot pockets, Jim Gaffigan is one of the funniest men in America. Not only is he one of our favorite guests, he’s also been a regular on Conan O’Brien’s show, has appeared on a number of sitcoms and has released a number of fantastic comedy specials, including the new one available for download on his website, “Mr. Universe.” Gaffigan is also the author of the bestseller, Dad is Fat. Jim Gaffigan is currently on a cross-county tour so make sure to check out his website for upcoming show dates and locations. Get his new book Food: A Love Story at his website. Follow Jim on twitter and facebook.
Mike Birbiglia is not only a popular and successful stand-up comedian, he’s also starred in the one-man off-Broadway shows “Sleepwalk With Me” and “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” is the author of the book, “ Sleepwalk With Me And Other Painfully True Stories,” and wrote, starred in and directed the film Sleepwalk with Me (which was based on his one-man-show, which in turn was based on his real life experiences). The film received much critical acclaim and also won the the Best Of NEXT audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. Mike is currently back out on tour. You can follow Mike on twitter and facebook. Visit his website here. (Photo Credit: Brian Friedman)
Mitch Burrow has lived a very diverse life that has given him more than enough stories to tell.
He grew up on a dirt road in Georgia, joined the Marine Corps at 18 and moved to Okinawa, Japan for several years, went to Iraq, and he then spent 3 years in Southern California before moving to Seattle Washington where he has spent the last 6 years becoming one of Seattle’s favorite comedians.
Mitch is a Republican that supports gay marriage, or maybe he is a democrat against gun control. More than likely, Mitch is just a guy that doesn’t fit into any one single category…unless that category is “funny”.
Receiving critical acclaim as a stand-up, actor and author, Lewis Black has performed for audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and The United States. In 2012, he performed eight sell-out shows at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. In 1996, his friend Lizz Winstead tapped him to create a weekly segment for a show she was producing on Comedy Central called The Daily Show. The segment, a three minute rant about whatever was bothering him at the moment, evolved into Back in Black. It became one of the most popular and longest running segments on the show and also created a long and successful relationship with the network. Since then, Lewis has taped four specials for the Comedy Central Presents series, co-created Last Laugh with Lewis Black, presided over Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil, and continues to perform Back in Black on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.
Increased exposure from The Daily Show eventually generated a record deal with Stand Up! Records. His first CD, The White Album, was released in 2000 to much critical acclaim. Lewis followed with eight more, six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has been graced with 5 Grammy nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues, the second in 2009 for Anticipation. In 2007 he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for The Carnegie Hall Performance and in 2011, his second for Stark Raving Black. His most recent release, In God We Rust (Comedy Central Records) was nominated for a Grammy.
He’s filmed two specials for HBO, Black On Broadway and Red, White and Screwed. The latter was nominated for an Emmy in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on Inside the NFL (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006 was honored to be asked to participate in Comic Relief.
In 2009 Lewis filmed his first feature length concert film, Stark Raving Black at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. The film had a limited run in theaters across the US and Canada in the summer of 2010. At the end of the theater run, premium movie channel EpixHD picked up the film for its channel along with the accompanying documentary Basic Black. Both are still aired regularly and can be found in the EpixHD on demand queue. 2011 found him producing his second full length concert, In God We Rust, which also still airs on EpixHD.
In the midst of a rigorous touring schedule, regular TV appearances and movie roles, Lewis has written three best selling books, Nothing’s Sacred (Simon and Schuster, 2005), Me of Little Faith(Riverhead Books, 2008) and I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas (Riverhead Books, 2010). All garnered critical praise as well commercial success and spent numerous weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
As a playwright Lewis has penned over 40 plays, many of which have been produced around the country. The Deal, a dark comedy about business, was made into a short film in 1998 and picked up by the Sundance Channel. In 2011, his play One Slight Hitch was produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then again in 2012 at both the ACT Theatre in Seattle and The George Street Theatre in New Brunswick.
In 2006, Lewis had a break out year as an actor. He co-starred with Robin Williams in Barry Levinson’s Man of the Year (Universal Pictures), appeared as “the fake dean of a fake college” in Steve Pink’s Accepted (Universal Pictures) and as the harried airport manager in Paul Feig’sUnaccompanied Minors (Warner Brothers). He also lent his voice to the role of “Jimmy” in Bob Sagat’s parody, Farce of the Penguins (Thinkfilm).
His new standup special, Lewis Black: Old Yeller – Live at the Borgata, will premiere on the network Friday, May 2, 2014 at 10PM ET on the EPIX network. He will also continue his charity work through ‘Lewis Black Presents Big Stars, Big Cure: An Unforgettable Night of Comedy and Music to Fight Cystic Fibrosis‘ on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Follow him on twitter here. Visit his website here.
Ryan’s comedy has led him to regular appearances in the country’s best comedy clubs. He is a regular on the nationally syndicated, “Bob and Tom Radio Show” and his 1st comedy album, “You Were Funny Too,” is on rotation on Sirius XM’s “RawDog” comedy channel. Ryan made his television debut on the third season of Comedy Central’s “LIVE AT GOTHAM.”
In 2011, Ryan made his first USO tour of Qatar and Afghanistan. He also wrote for Comedy Central’s “Roast of Charlie Sheen,” took the grand prize at the 2011 World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas and finished as a finalist in the 2011 Boston Comedy Festival.
This year, Ryan finished as a finalist in the 2012 Laughing Skull Festival and was chosen to participate in the 2012 Great American Comedy Festival. Ryan also performed in the “New Faces / Unrepped” showcase at the 2012 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. Most recently, Ryan made his television acting debut on TBS’s “Sullivan and Son.” Get his new album I’m Married, Let Me Tell You About It on iTunes and Amazon. Follow him on twitter. Visit his website.
Greg Warren, most recently seen on “Comedy Central Presents”, “The Late Late Show” and“Last Comic Standing”, has been building a strong fan base around the country with his act inspired by stories from his Midwestern upbringing. His newly released CD “One Star Wonder” (Comedy Central Records) hit the ground running as #6 in iTunes TOP Comedy Albums (June 2009) and together with Greg’s colorful perspective and amazing characters, is destined to be a favorite. Greg attracts a diverse audience spectrum, performing on networks such as BET (as a finalist on “Coming to the Stage”)Country Music Television’s “Comedy Stage”. and Greg is also a favorite on the nationally syndicated “Bob and Tom” radio show, which led him to tour theatres across the country with the “Friends of Bob and Tom Comedy Tour”.
Greg Warren hails from St. Louis, MO, where his father was a high school wrestling coach and his mother made him play clarinet in the band. Greg has captivated audiences with anecdotes about the conflict inherent in meshing two high school identities—varsity wrestler and band geek. Greg’s “Flute Man” bit is a perfect capsulation of the insecurities of high school and the ongoing quest to be cool, and is one of the most requested bits in the history of the “Bob and Tom” radio show. Greg was also a West Point Cadet, where he distinguished himself by amassing an impressive tally of demerits and endless hours of pointless marching. After moving on to the University of Missouri, he studied journalism and was named an All-American college wrestler.
While in college, Greg won a comedy contest and was invited to perform at a local club in Columbia, MO, Déjà Vu. After a stint selling Jif and Pringles for corporate giant Procter & Gamble, Greg made the decision to become a full time comedian. This bold move led to an invitation to the prestigious “Just for Laughs Festival” in Montreal in 2002, where Greg performed as one of their featured “New Faces of Comedy”. He has also been seen on the Comedy Central show, “Premium Blend”. Greg has an arsenal of characters that he brings to life in his act. He also highlights his current life struggles with the service industry, moderation, and “One Star People”.
In addition to his television and festival appearances, Greg can currently be seen on Comedy Central Presents, heard on Sirius/XM Comedy and will continue to tour across the country with “Bob and Tom’s All Stars” in addition to performing his act at Improvs and Funny Bones. Greg’s background recently resulted in a gig doing color commentary on college wrestling for Fox Sports Midwest. Greg’s Midwestern upbringing and his ability to provide humorous social commentary gives him a wealth of material that continues to gain him fans throughout the country. Visit his website here. Follow him on Twitter.
Byron appears regularly at The Comedy Store, The Comedy and Magic Club, The Hollywood Improv, The Nerdist Theater, and Holy F#ck. He won the Big Sky Competition in Montana, Uncle Clyde’s Comedy and the Ultimate Laff-Down XVI Competitions, and was a Boston Comedy Festival Semi-Finalist. He was a New Face for Just for Laughs in 2013. He has appeared on the Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim, Comcast TV, and he will appear on Adam Devine’s House party this fall on Comedy Central and The new season of Comic View March 2014. Follow him on twitter and facebook. Visit his website here.