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Egyptian-American actor, comedian, producer, and director Ahmed Ahmed is one of the most diverse, multi-faceted talents in the entertainment industry today. In 2014, he can be seen starring as “Ahmed” on TBS’ hit comedy series Sullivan & Son. Executive Produced by Vince Vaughn, the show follows Steve Sullivan [Steve Byrne], a corporate lawyer who surprises his parents when he leaves his job to take over a bar owned by his father in Pittsburgh. Ahmed made his first appearance as unlucky in love, tow-truck driver [and best friend to Steve] “Ahmed” in season one, and joined the cast as a series regular in season two, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Ahmed is currently the only Arab-American actor playing a non-stereotypical role on a comedy sitcom, today.
Born in Helwan, Egypt and raised in Riverside, California Ahmed immigrated to the US when he was one month old with his family. When he was 19 years old he made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first big break was in the suspense, action film Executive Decision alongside Kurt Russell, Steven Segal, and Halle Berry in 1996. Ahmed went on to appear in a handful of blockbuster and cult hit features including Swingers, Iron Man, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. On the television front, Ahmed has appeared on top series such as Tracy Takes On, Weeds, and Roseanne to name a few.
In 2011, Ahmed made his directorial debut with his groundbreaking documentary Just Like Us. The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, and went on to be selected at 30 international film festivals, winning several “Best Director” and “Best Documentary” awards. The documentary, a celebration of culture and comedy, follows Ahmed and ten American comedians through Dubai, Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, performing in front of over 20,000 Arabs and Muslims across the region. Just Like Us garnered Ahmed attention on the political front, and he was invited to The White House to have dinner with President Obama, and was also invited to The State Department to have dinner with Hilary Clinton- as they commended him on creating a project that made an effort to break down barriers and encourage cross-cultural dialogue. Ahmed is currently in post-production on Just Like Us Too, which takes place in Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Oman.
While working in film and television Ahmed’s profile in comedy continues to rise, being hand picked by Vince Vaughn for his Wild West Comedy Tour [2005-present]. Vaughn is currently producing the first ever Wild West comedy festival in Nashville, TN where Ahmed will hold the roll of Comedy Ambassador, performing and hosting shows. In 2005, Ahmed cofounded and performed in the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour which aired on Comedy Central as the first ever Middle Eastern stand up comedy special. Ahmed is also the winner of the first annual Richard Pryor Award for Ethnic Comedy at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in Scotland.
Ahmed is currently a paid regular performer at the world famous Comedy Story in Hollywood, The Laugh Factory, and the Comedy Cellar in New York City. He regularly tours nationally and internationally, and in summer 2014, Ahmed will hit the road for the Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour with his cast mates from the series, hitting 20+ markets across the country. Ahmed is a true believer that laughter heals, and that comedy can bridge the gap between communities across the world.
Sam Tripoli views comedy as a calling rather a profession. It’s a passion that he’s been preaching to audiences at comedy clubs across the country and on television, including Comedy Centrals’ “Premium Blend” (receiving only one of two standing ovations in the history of the show), a frolicsome turn as a male escort for E! Entertainment’s “Party @ the Palms,” “The Late Late Show on CBS”, “Comic Unleashed” and as a co-host of Spike TV’s “Wide World of Spike,” a comedy-action cult classic. On stage he’s a force of nature, pacing the stage like a cyclone of funny as he questions authority and the conventions of our society one moment, then earnestly expresses his affinity for the bizarre the next. His comedy has no limits – its whatever he’s thinking about, and that’s usually what everyone else is thinking about, even though sometimes we don’t like to admit to it. “I like to think of myself as the little voice in everyone’s head, except I have a microphone and I’m funnier,” Sam says.
An actor, writer, host and producer of over 1,400 hours of television, John Henson is entering his 6th season as co-host and producer of ABC’s hit reality series “Wipeout,” the #1 co-viewing show on television and winner of the 2012 “Kids Choice Award” for Best Reality Show.
With an impressive 25 years in the business, Henson has established himself as one of entertainment’s sought-after players with projects in various stages of development. Having recently expanded his production company, Skunk Boy Inc., Henson is set to produce the film “Making Jack Falcone,” based on the New York Times best-selling book by Joaquin “Jack” Garcia. Produced with Double Feature Films, the project will star Benicio Del Toro with Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh as executive producer.
Henson began his professional career as a stand-up comedian where he enjoyed much success, touring the country for several years. He gained audiences’ attention and critical acclaim when he was selected to replace Greg Kinnear as host of E! Entertainment’s Emmy award-winning “Talk Soup.” It was this role as host, writer and co-executive producer of “Talk Soup” which garnered Henson a cult following, in addition to three Emmy award nominations and four Cable Ace nominations.
Henson’s subsequent projects included the hour-long weekly series “The John Henson Project” which he created for Spike TV, as well as TV Guide Network’s longest running series “Watch This” where he served as host, writer and executive producer. In 2006, he hosted the Creative Arts Technical Emmys opposite Meredith Vieira. In spring 2010, Henson served as celebrity guest host on the game show sensation “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Henson is also a pop culture analyst, regularly appearing on NBC, CNN and MSNBC among others. Most recently, John served as guest host on the popular entertainment news show “TMZ.”
His most recent acting credits include a recurring guest star role as Mike Moon, the father of Austin Moon on Disney’s hit show “Austin & Ally,” alongside his real-life wife, comedian Jill Benjamin, who plays Mimi Moon, his wife on the show. He was also seen in a recurring role on NBC’s “My Name is Earl.”
John has returned to stand up comedy, touring the country in addition to being a regular at The Laugh Factory and The Improv in Los Angeles, where he also performs improv comedy. As a writer, Henson has contributed to US Weekly, TV Guide and George Magazine.
John is also dedicated to several children’s charities, working regularly with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Institute, Inc., a charity benefiting victims of domestic violence for more than 100 years.
Henson currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
2013 is a huge year for Donnell Rawlings, in the fall you can see him starring in his own show as Judge Rawlings on MTV2’s Guy Court. Donnell will be back on MTV2’s Guy Code for another season as well. Donnell can be seen hosting Staann' Dup to be seen on StarzBlack. He lends his voice in a recurring role as “Another Cat Named Rally” on the hit animation Black Dynamite as well being featured in Adult Swim’s animation. Donnell continues to tour heavily, performing his intelligently bold stand-up throughout the US, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Donnell is an overnight success a decade in the making. He made a splash in the DC comedy clubs going from a heckler in the audience to HBO's Def Comedy Jam in a period of six months. You’ve seen him as 'Ashy Larry' on Comedy Central’s award winning and critically celebrated Chappelle’s Show, where he joined Dave Chappelle as both as a writer and performer. He will also be featured in Queen Latifah's new movie Percentage. His 1-Hour Stand-Up “Ashy to Classy” premiered on Comedy Central in October of 2010.
He was a co-host on both Power 105’s (NY’s #1 Hip Hop and R&B radio station) morning show “Egypt and Ashy in the Morning” and “The Big Tigger Morning Show” on WPGC in Washington DC, and he enjoyed weekly guest appearances on New York’s Hot 97 Morning Show. He was a regular on E!’s “Chelsea Lately", starred in Comedy Central's “Reality Bites Back,” and was the resident “Funny Guy” on the Ricki Lake Show. In 2007, Donnell co-created and starred in Heavy.com’s hit web series “From Ashy to Classy”, which was picked up for a second round of episodes. His movie of the same name
screened at the 2011 L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival.
As an actor Donnell has also appeared in the Law & Order series, Special Victims Unit (SVU) and Criminal Intent (CI) as well as NBC’s Third Watch, the Emmy-Award winning HBO Mini-Series: The Corner and as Day-Day Price on HBO’s Emmy-Award winning series “The Wire.” On the big screen he could be seen in the blockbuster Spider-Man II.
His rise to stardom may not have been “overnight”, but the journey itself has kept him edgy and relevant. Comedy's heavy hitters have noticed his talent with Neal Brennan, co- executive producer and co-head writer of Chappelle’s Show exclaiming “whenever we put Donnell in the game he’s going to hit a home run.” Jamie Foxx says, “That guy is a beast!” Wayne Brady commented that Donnell provides “amazing work on the show” and Dave Chappelle feels that “Donnell brings so much to the table...this very funny guy makes it look natural and easy.”
Grant Cotter is a stand-up comedian and writer from San Diego, CA. He was one of the breakout stars from the MTV prank show 'Jerks With Cameras'. He has appeared on NBC's 'Last Call with Carson Daly', 'Off The Chain' on Bounce TV, 'Mystery Diners' on Food Network and is the host of the Dr. Pepper 'One Of A Kind: Music Sessions' for SPIN Magazine.
In 2014, Grant was selected to perform on all 21 dates of the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Tour with Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari and Hannibal Buress. You can also catch him on the upcoming season of HBO's smash hit 'Silicon Valley'. Grant is a staple in the L.A. comedy scene and can be seen performing regularly at The Laugh Factory and the Improv. www.GrantCotter.com
Barry Rothbart is one of the young rising stars in comedy today, appearing recently on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, starring in the new season of MTV’s “Punk’d” and landing a role as “Ben” on TNT’s “Men of A Certain Age”. He also co-wrote and starredin the IFC Channel show “Do Whatever”, as well as a series of national commercials including: Taco Bell, Honda and Miller Light. He was also named a “New Face” and “Best of the Fest” performer at the 2011 Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Fest. In addition to stand up he has performed sketch and improv for several years at the UCB Theater in NY and LA and a one man character show in 2010. As a writer/director, in addition to several shorts, he has recently completed shooting on his first feature length film entitled “Hungry”.
Ryan Stout is a well-crafted and seasoned comedian who has performed all over the world. A regular guest on CHELSEA LATELY, Ryan has also appeared on CONAN, Comedy Central’s LIVE AT GOTHAM, and his own half-hour special: COMEDY CENTRAL PRESENTS… RYAN STOUT. While still in college, Stout was already performing over 300 shows per year when, at age 22, he won the Boston International Comedy Festival's stand-up comedy competition. He went on to perform at HBO’s The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the prestigious Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival in Montreal, and the very hip SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Within six months of moving to Los Angeles, he booked his first pilot, hosting a game show for MTV. That project established him as a go-to host for any occasion and over the next few years MTV booked Ryan to host nearly 50 pilots, specials, and episodes of random television. He even hosted the iconic MTV SPRING BREAK. In December 2011, his debut comedy album, Touché, was released by Comedy Central Records and reached #7 on the iTunes comedy charts. Currently, Ryan Stout can be seen every Monday thru Thursday on AXS TV, hosting the network’s one-hour flagship show, AXS Live.