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David Cross

David Cross (born April 4, 1964) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer, and voice artist, known primarily for his standup work, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development. Cross created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, developed and had a prominent role in Freak Show, appeared on Modern Family, portrayed Ian Hawke in the Alvin and the Chipmunks film franchise, and voiced Crane in the Kung Fu Panda film franchise.

At age 17, Cross began performing stand-up comedy. The day after he graduated from high school, Cross went to New York. Lacking a plan, he drifted around, working briefly for a lawn care company on Long Island, and later enrolled at Emerson College in Boston. He would drop out after only a semester, but during his time there, Cross joined This is Pathetic, a college sketch group, where he met John Ennis. In the summer of 1985, the two aspiring actors took a road trip to Los Angeles, although this did not significantly further their acting careers. In Boston, Cross began to perform stand-up more regularly. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Boston had a booming comedy scene, although Cross did not fit the types of acts being booked most of the time. He recalls that it was "a loud-, dumb-, pandering-, racist-, homophobic-type scene".[8]

In 1990, a new comedy scene began to emerge at the famous comedy club chain called Catch a Rising Star (where many of the comedians of the 1970s and 1980s got their start). Alongside Janeane Garofalo, Louis C.K., and other comics, Cross appeared regularly several nights a week. Cross formed the sketch comedy group "Cross Comedy" with 12 other performers, and they put on a new show every week. They were known for playing tricks on the audience, such as introducing fake comics or planting fake hecklers. Cross became increasingly focused on his comedy work.[8] Cross performed at the alternative comedy club Un-Cabaret in Los Angeles.

Cross continues to perform stand-up, in which he blends political commentary and satire. In 1999, he was given his own 1-hour comedy special on HBO entitled The Pride Is Back. He has released three recordings: Shut Up You Fucking Baby!, It's Not Funny, and Bigger and Blackerer. Cross' stand up material was featured in Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties. In 2004, Shut Up You Fucking Baby! was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. In 2003, he released his first tour film Let America Laugh and was named #85 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-ups of all time. He appears on Un-Cabaret compilation albums, including Freak Weather Feels Different and The Good, the Bad and the Drugly.

 

Cross was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Susi, a computer retailer. Six months later, Cross's family moved to Florida. After additional moves to New York and Connecticut, the family settled back in Atlanta, where Cross remained for nearly a decade.
He attended Northside High School of the Performing Arts (now North Atlanta High School), from which he graduated in 1982.
Cross was elected treasurer of his senior class and was voted "Most Humorous" by his classmates.
He began performing stand-up comedy at 17.
The day after he graduated from high school, Cross went to New York. Lacking a plan, he drifted around, working briefly for a lawn care company in Long Island, and later enrolled at Emerson College in Boston. He would drop out after only a semester, but during his time there he discovered his new favorite things: partying and sketch comedy. Cross joined This is Pathetic, a college sketch group, where he met John Ennis.
In the summer of 1985, the two aspiring actors took a road trip to Los Angeles, although this did not significantly further their acting careers.
In Boston, Cross began to perform stand-up more regularly. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Boston had a booming comedy scene, although Cross did not fit the types of acts being booked most of the time. He recalls that it was "a loud, dumb, pandering, racist, homophobic type scene".
Cross began his professional television career as a writer on The Ben Stiller Show. The short-lived Fox Network series hired him toward the end of its run, and he occasionally made brief appearances in the sketches. He had a speaking role in "The Legend of T.J. O'Pootertoot", a sketch written almost entirely by Cross. It was during this period that he first met Bob Odenkirk, with whom he would later co-create the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show in 1995.
Cross won an Emmy for his work on The Ben Stiller Show in 1993.

 

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