On this day in comedy on June 1, 1961 Comedian, Actor, Host, Mark G. Curry was born in Oakland, California.
Once Curry had put in time as an up & coming stand-up comedian on the Bay Area circuit in rough clubs and bars like The End Zone and Sweet Jimmie’s, he was ready for the visual mediums where cameras captured if you were really funny or not and kept it on record. His first outing was the Martin Lawrence film debut, Talkin’ Dirty After Dark in 1991. It must’ve impressed the right people because 1992 became Curry’s breakout year.
A year after his first film Mark Curry found himself doing two television shows. He took over as host on the syndicated hit, Showtime at the Apollo. At the same time his ABC sitcom, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper premiered. On that show Curry played a retired NBA baller who is now a substitute teacher when he is not teaching gym. During and following Cooper’s successful 5 season run, Curry appeared in the motion pictures, Panther, the Fanatics, Switchback and Armageddon; also guest starred on Living Single, the Jamie Foxx Show and Martin.
After the turn of the century things kept rolling. Mark Curry had a recurring role on The Drew Carey Show. He played Carey’s boss. On the Holly Robinson-Peete vehicle, For Your Love, he played a doctor and hosted the Comedy Central show, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush. Curry did movies for the Disney Channel and a few seasons later he hosted Animal Tails and then Coming to the Stage.
In 2006 tragedy struck. While doing laundry (the butler must’ve been off that day) Mark Curry was burned over 20% of his body when an aerosol can accidently fell behind a water heater and exploded. During a lengthy recuperative period, excruciating pain and being placed in a medically induced coma for several months, Curry contemplated suicide. It was the intervention of fellow comedians, Sinbad and Bill Cosby that kept Curry’s mind right and put him back on track. He got it together and went back to work.
In November 2008 Mark Curry returned with a stand-up routine on the Comedy Central special, Laffapalooza hosted by Tracy Morgan. The following year, Curry found himself as host of FoxxHole Live on Satellite Radio sirus. He toured with Earthquake, Sommore, Tony Rock and Bruce, Bruce under the title, “The Royal Comedy Tour” followed up with “Sommore’s Standing Ovation Comedy Tour” featuring Tommy Davidson and Bill Bellamy. Curry co-starred opposite Sheryl Lee Ralph in the Bounce sitcom, One Love and had the role of Marcus on the Scott Baio comedy series, See Dad Run for Nick at Nite for 2012-2015.
Mark Curry has appeared in music videos and continues touring as a stand-up comedian.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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