On this day in comedy on January 5, 1969, Comedian, Actor, Robert “Guy” Torry was born in St. Louis, MO.
Torry got his start in comedy in college then once out he went to Hollywood. His brother, Joe Torry had already made the journey and was a successful host of The Comedy Act Theater when Guy arrived. Going by the stage name of Guy T, the younger Torry dug right in and honed his skills as a regular at the popular club. He took his talents and knowledge to The World Famous Comedy Store and created the institution known as Phat Tuesday in 1995. This was the night black Hollywood was celebrated; on stage in the way of comedians and out in the audience in the way of crowd. Celebrities of the moment came to see the celebrities of the future and Torry was the ringmaster. This phenomenal night lasted for a decade, but during that time Torry stayed busy.
Guy Torry showed up a lot on the small and big screen. He first appeared in Family Matters, then Martin (he also wrote for the show as well as for Moesha). Then he got a role in the UPN sitcom, Good News. That didn’t last long, but so what? He made movies; Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Life, Trippin, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Harbor and his stand out role as a convict who converts the racist protagonist in American History X.
As a stand-up Torry found success on the road. He toured the civilized world and returned to do Def Comedy Jam (his brother was the host of that too) and killed it. He was seen on Comedy Central and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Then Guy Torry became the host of the first outing of the Original Kings of Comedy in 1998. The other comedians were Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac. Torry left after that first run to star in the UPN action series, The Strip. He played a detective. That show also didn’t last long either. Oh well, he could always do radio, charities, tours, celebrity roasts, film documentaries, guest star on sitcoms, etc., etc., etc.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: