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David Alan Grier - Profile

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Comedian David Alan Grier
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Born:

June 30, 1955

Quick David Alan Grier Facts:

  • David Alan Grier hails from Detroit Michigan.
  • He attended the Yale School of Drama and got his start as a Broadway actor.
  • In 1990, he became a cast member on the FOX sketch show In Living Color.
  • Grier started performing stand-up in the 2000s.
  • In 2008, Grier hosted his own Comedy Central sketch show, Chocolate News.
  • In 2009, he became a contestant on the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars.

David Alan Grier Overview:

David Alan Grier is an actor and comedian who has been highly visible since first finding mainstream success on the 1990s sketch comedy In Living Color. In the 2000s, Grier has found success as a stand-up comic and continued to develop his own series and projects, including the 2008 Comedy Central sketch show Chocolate News. A classically-trained dramatic actor, Grier's comedy is always very animated and features well-drawn characters.

Early Life:

David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1955. He didn't initially pursue a career in comedy, instead dreaming of becoming a dramatic actor. He got his graduated from the University of Michigan and went on to receive an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

In 1981, Grier appeared in the Broadway musical The First, for which he received a Tony nomination. He continued to act onstage and the occasional film for the rest of the '80s, before a small role in a cult comedy would change his career forever.

I'm Gonna Git You and In Living Color:

After an appearance in the sketch comedy film Amazon Women on the Moon, Grier was cast by director Keenan Ivory Wayans in the 1988 blaxploitation parody film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. The two formed a working relationship, and when Wayans was casting his new FOX sketch show In Living Color in 1990, he made Grier a member of the ensemble.

In Living Color was a huge hit, and Grier became a household name with popular characters like Antoine Merriweather (co-host of the "Men On..." series) and Funky Finger Productions employee Clavelle. Grier remained with the show until it was canceled in 1994.

David Alan Grier Film, Sitcoms and Stand-up:

After In Living Color was canceled, Grier continued to appear in a number of film and television projects without ever really finding a home. He was on several short-lived sitcoms, including The Preston Episodes and DAG (an acronym for the comedians' name) and films such as the Eddie Murphy comedy Boomerang, In the Army Now and Blankman (alongside his In Living Color costar Damon Wayans.

In the 2000s, Grier also began performing as a stand-up comic. He became host of Comedy Central's Premium Blend and appeared on Jamie Foxx Presents Laffapalooza.

In 2003, Grier recorded his own stand-up special for Comedy Central, called The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto.

In 2008, Grier became the host of his own Comedy Central sketch show, Chocolate News. The show, a fictional newscast that poked fun at "urban" culture, was canceled after just one season.

In 2009, he was announced as a contestant on the eighth season of the ABC reality competition Dancing With the Stars.

Additional David Alan Grier Facts:

  • Grier is a regular collaborator of comedian Bonnie Hunt, having appeared in her 2000 directorial effort Return to Me and her 2000 ABC sitcom Life With Bonnie.
  • His first acting role was as an X-Wing pilot on the NPR radio dramatization of Star Wars in 1980.
  • He was a regular contributor to the radio call-in show Loveline and the Comedy Central puppet comedy Crank Yankers.
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