August 21, 1986 |
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
Brooks Wheelan (born August 21, 1986) is an American stand-up comedian who was most recently a cast member on Saturday Night Live for the 2013–2014 season. Wheelan was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and his hometown is Manchester, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a biomedical engineering degree.
Life and career
Wheelan was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and raised in Manchester, Iowa, to parents Chris and Jim Wheelan. Growing up, Wheelan's interest mostly focused on science and mathematics. Wheelan performed regularly in Iowa City, Iowa during his college years. He had a regular stint at the Summit, a local bar popular with underage drinkers. Wheelan's notable performances include opening up for Iowa City post-rock band Skull Fuck. After graduating from college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue stand-up comedy while also working as a biomedical engineer. In 2013, Wheelan was hired to write for Saturday Night Live for the 2013–2014 season and then made a cast member the week before the season started. Prior to joining SNL, Wheelan performed stand-up comedy in Los Angeles while he held a job as a biomedical test engineer, testing on eyes and heart valves. He started out performing stand-up comedy in his late teens in Iowa, then went to Kansas City and Chicago, before eventually moving to Los Angeles where he began to pursue stand-up comedy full-time and take improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Wheelan was also an occasional contributing writer to the website CollegeHumor. After being released from Saturday Night Live Wheelan embarked on a standup tour entitled 'Brooks Wheelan Falls Back On Standup Comedy (sorta) Tour', in reference to his firing. As part of his promotion for the tour he would perform on Conan.
SNL Weekend Update
Wheelan was a recurring guest on SNL 's Weekend Update, where he used his stand-up stories as public service announcements against irresponsible behavior. On the Bruce Willis/Katy Perry episode, the commentary centered on getting tattoos that have no meaning, with Wheelan showing off three tattoos he got in his youth: a tribal stamp on his left arm meant to look like the one Anthony Kiedis from The Red Hot Chili Peppers has, a nautical star on his right arm, and a weird oceanscape he got on his side (which came from a doodle he drew in his freshman year of high school, and, to him, doesn't make sense because he grew up in Iowa, which isn't a coastal state). On the Anna Kendrick/Pharrell Williams episode, the commentary centered on the dangers of drinking alcohol, and the story of how his friends put butter down his pants while he was blacked out drunk and Wheelan worrying that he was dying of an undiscovered sexually-transmitted disease.
- Klingseis, Katherine (October 13, 2013). "Comedian pokes fun at his tattoos, Iowa upbringing on ‘Saturday Night Live’". DesMoinesRegister.com. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Ta, Linh (September 28, 2013). "Manchester native named to new 'SNL' cast". The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Native Iowan among new cast this season on 'SNL' : Comedian part of largest overhaul since '90s on NBC show aired live from New York City". Desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Interview: Brooks Wheelan on the LA comedy scene, SNL and his return to Iowa City". Littlevillagemag.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Three Iowa City Bars Fail Alcohol Compliance Checks". Iowa City, Iowa Patch. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Standup Brooks Wheelan Hired to Write for 'SNL'". Splitsider. 26 August 2013.
- Carter, Bill (September 15, 2013). "New Course for ‘Update,’ and All of ‘SNL’". The New York Times. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Barsanti, Sam. "Saturday Night Live has fired Brooks Wheelan". A.V. Club date=July 14, 2014.