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Jon Lovitz

For the last twenty years, Jon Lovitz has been one of the best-known comedians in the universe… well, according to his cats.

For the first ten years of his career, he did plays in high school, earned a B.A. in Drama at the University of California, Irvine, and studied acting with Tony Barr at the Film Actors Workshop. After an unfruitful year in New York, he returned to Los Angeles and, at the advice of Tony Barr, began concentrating solely on comedy. He began taking classes at the famous improv-comedy group, the Groundlings, in 1982. A year later, after being accepted into the Sunday Company, Jon got his first job as an actor for two weeks on the television show The Paper Chase. Thinking he was on his way, he promptly quit his job at the clothing store… and became a messenger. The next three years—nothing!!! Then in September of 1984, he was accepted into the main company at the Groundlings.

On March 28, 1985, the Groundlings appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It was there that Jon premiered his character, Tommy Flanagan of “Pathological Liars Anonymous.” This kicked off a series of events, including getting an agent, a movie (Last Resort, 1986) and a series (Foley Square) on the same day, a voiceover for a cartoon (The Brave Little Toaster, 1987), and the big break of his career (with the recommendations of Laraine Newman and Charles Grodin), Saturday Night Live… all this by September of 1985.

He has not stopped working since. He was nominated for Emmys for his first two years on Saturday Night Live. He became known for many characters, including Tommy Flanagan of Pathological Liars Anonymous (“Yeah, that’s the ticket!”), Master Thespian, Hannukah Harry, and the Devil. He has appeared in over 30 movies, including Big (1988), A League of Their Own (1992), High School High (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), Small Time Crooks (2000), and Rat Race (2001). He has worked with some of the best comedy directors, including Penny Marshall, Rob Reiner, Jerry Zucker, and the man who influenced Jon to be a comedian in the first place (when Jon was 13), Woody Allen. He has also worked with such filmmakers as Todd Solondz (Happiness, 1998) and Richard Kelly (Southland Tales, 2006).

Jon has become well known for his distinctive voice. He was the lead voice of the character, Jay Sherman, in the acclaimed cult cartoon series, The Critic, and has done voiceovers for many other animated features, including An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), Cats & Dogs (2001), and Eight Crazy Nights (2002). He has also worked on The Simpsons many times, including creating the character of Marge Simpson’s boyfriend, Artie Ziff (who sounds suspiciously like Jay Sherman).

He appeared on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in Neil Simon’s play The Dinner Party, taking over the lead role from Henry Winkler. He has sung (yes, he can sing!) at Carnegie Hall three times (including in Great Performances, “Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall”) and has sung the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium and the U.S. Open. He sang with English rock star Robbie Williams at the Royal Albert Hall and appears on his 2001 album, Swing When You’re Winning.

He was the first famous guest star on the hit show Friends and guest starred on Seinfeld the same week. In 2005 he guest starred three times on the hit show Las Vegas, and in 2006 he was offered (and accepted) a recurring role on the hit show Two and a Half Men, playing Charlie Sheen’s nemesis, Archie Baldwin. He recently had recurring roles on Hot in Cleveland and The Goldbergs, and he can currently be seen in Funny You Should Ask on CBS.

Having done stand-up comedy now for 15 years, Jon is one of the few performers to start as an actor and then enter stand-up. He now successfully headlining in nightclubs, theaters, and casinos across the country (a BIG THANK YOU TO DANA CARVEY!!!!).

Sunday, April 24
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Discussion before
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX