On this day in comedy on October 23, 1970 Comedian, Actor, Radio Personality, Donnell M. Rawlings was born in Washington, DC.
Rawlings was raised in Alexandria, Virginia and stationed in South Korea when he was in the Air Force. He learned a lot of Korean insults and used them in his comedy. Best known as a cast member on Comedy Central’s Chappelle Show, they came in handy many times. On that sketch program Rawlings played a number of memorable characters. His most notable was Ashy Larry; a brother who looked like he’d bathed in chalk. Rawlings originated the catchphrase, “I’m rich, bitch” and was known for hitting the East Coast overused exclamation of “Son” at the end of sentences.
Dave Chappelle’s show was a dream project for a comedian. Unfortunately it went nightmarish when Chappelle left abruptly leaving Rawlings and Charlie Murphy to co-host the Chappelle-less Season 3, or as comedy Central billed it – Chappelle Show: The Lost Episodes.
As an actor Rawlings has made numerous guest appearances. He was seen on HBO’s The Wire as an ex-con, Spider-Man 2 as a bystander and The Ricki Lake Show as a judge. Rawlings has been in music videos as well as Guy Code, Reality Bites Back, Howard Stern and D L Hughley Breaks the News. And when it came to working on radio, Rawlings did that too. The problem with the latter medium was how touchy it can be. Rawlings was fired for telling a joke about a powerful race in the entertainment industry with strong ties to Israel.
Donnell Rawlings continues to do stand-up and act.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton