Cross at the Arrested Development 2011 Reunion
April 4, 1964 |
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Medium||Stand up, Television, Film, Books|
|Genres||Satire, Black comedy, Blue comedy, Observational comedy, Sketch comedy|
|Subject(s)||Recreational drug use, Drinking culture, Race relations, American culture, Self-deprecation, Human behavior, Religion, Human sexuality|
|Spouse||Amber Tamblyn (m. 2012)|
|Notable works and roles||Host – Mr. Show
Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development
David Cross (born April 4, 1964) is an American actor, writer and stand-up comedian known primarily for his standup work, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development. Cross created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret; developed and had a prominent role in the Comedy Central animated sitcom Freak Show; and has a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Modern Family.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Discography
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 Filmography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Cross was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Susi and Barry who emigrated from Leeds, England. Six months after his birth, Cross's family moved to Florida. After additional moves to New York and Connecticut, the family settled back in Roswell, Georgia, where Cross remained for nearly a decade. His family was poor and Barry left the family when Cross was ten years old, and Cross and Barry have not spoken since he was 19, though they both primarily resided in New York City until Cross sold his home there in 2011. Cross and his family were evicted from their home while living in Georgia. He spent some time living in motels and at friends' homes while growing up. He has two sisters, and once bailed his youngest sibling out of jail.
Beginnings in comedy
Cross began performing stand-up comedy at 17. The day after he graduated from high school, Cross went to New York. Lacking a plan, he drifted around, working briefly for a lawn care company on Long Island, and later enrolled at Emerson College in Boston. He would drop out after only a semester, but during his time there, Cross joined This is Pathetic, a college sketch group, where he met John Ennis. In the summer of 1985, the two aspiring actors took a road trip to Los Angeles, although this did not significantly further their acting careers. In Boston, Cross began to perform stand-up more regularly. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Boston had a booming comedy scene, although Cross did not fit the types of acts being booked most of the time. He recalls that it was "a loud-, dumb-, pandering-, racist-, homophobic-type scene".
In 1990, a new comedy scene began to emerge at the famous comedy club chain called Catch a Rising Star (where many of the comedians of the 1970s and 1980s got their start). Cross—along with Janeane Garofalo, Louis C.K., and other comics—appeared regularly several nights a week. Cross formed the sketch comedy group "Cross Comedy" with twelve other performers, and they put on a new show every week. They were known for playing tricks on the audience, such as introducing fake comics or planting fake hecklers. Cross became increasingly focused on his comedy work. Cross performed at the alternative comedy club Un-Cabaret in Los Angeles.
Cross continues to perform stand-up, in which he blends political commentary and satire. In 1999, he was given his own one-hour comedy special on HBO, entitled The Pride Is Back. He has released three recordings, Shut Up You Fucking Baby!, It's Not Funny, and Bigger and Blackerer. Cross' stand up material was featured in Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties. In 2004, Shut Up You Fucking Baby! was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. In 2003, he released his first tour film, Let America Laugh, and was named #85 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-ups of all time. He appears on Un-Cabaret compilation albums, including Freak Weather Feels Different and The Good, the Bad and the Drugly.
Work on The Ben Stiller Show, Mr. Show and other programs
Cross began his professional television career as a writer on The Ben Stiller Show. The short-lived Fox Network series hired him toward the end of its run, and he occasionally made brief appearances in the sketches. He had a speaking role in "The Legend of T.J. O'Pootertoot", a sketch written almost entirely by Cross. It was during this period that he first met Bob Odenkirk, with whom he would later co-create the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show in 1995. Cross won an Emmy for his work on The Ben Stiller Show in 1993.
Cross later co-starred as Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development, which was originally intended to be only a minor role. He has also played smaller roles on programs such as Just Shoot Me!, The Drew Carey Show, NewsRadio, Strangers with Candy, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Since October 2005, Cross has appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report as Stephen Colbert's nemesis, a fictional liberal radio talk show host from Madison, Wisconsin named "Russ Lieber". Cross also developed an animated series for Comedy Central called Freak Show, which co-starred H. Jon Benjamin, and was cancelled due to low ratings. He has appeared several times on the MTV2 series Wonder Showzen.
Cross teamed up with "Mr. Show" Producer/Director Troy Miller and Odenkirk to produce a feature film Run Ronnie Run, based on one of their Mr. Show characters. The film satirized the reality television craze, and featured cameos from many stars; however, Odenkirk got into conflict with the studio New Line Cinema, and they then released it direct-to-video. In 1994 and again in 1999, Cross was a guest voice actor on Joe Frank's radio show, featured in the episodes "The Last Run", "A Hearing", "The O.J. Chronicles", and "Jam". In 2013, he returned, making an appearance in an episode of Frank's radio show, entitled "A Conversation."
In 2004, Cross provided voices for a Marine in the Xbox game Halo 2, and a store clerk named Zero in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He also was the voice of the violent, alcoholic "Happy-Time Harry" doll and Bert Banana in Aqua Teen Hunger Force (although the part was credited as Sir Willups Brightslymoore). He has also made guest appearances in the Adult Swim series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. He directed the music video for The Black Keys' song "10am Automatic", a spoof of public-access television.
Cross appeared in The Strokes' music video for "Juicebox" as a bad local "morning zoo" radio DJ. He also appeared in The New Pornographers' video for "Use It", in Superchunk's video for "Watery Hands" (along with Janeane Garofalo), and in Yo La Tengo's video for "Sugarcube" (along with Bob Odenkirk and John Ennis). Cross contributes to Vice magazine, writing a column titled "My America".
In the Beastie Boys' 2006 concert film Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, Cross played the character Nathaniel Hörnblowér in the fictional segment "A Day in the Life of Nathaniel Hörnblowér". In the Bob Dylan biographical film I'm Not There, Cross played the role of poet Allen Ginsberg. Both Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff of Scrubs were eager to have Cross cameo on the show as Tobias Fünke, but because of the series' cancellation, the plan never came to fruition.
Cross provided commentary on the Vicarious music video DVD for the band Tool. He has previously performed comedy as an opening act for the band, and its members appeared on Mr. Show several times. He played Ian Hawke in Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and voiced Crane in the 2008 movie Kung Fu Panda, a role which he has continued through most of the animated franchise.
Cross starred in a pilot for HBO called David's Situation which filmed in May 2008 and included many Mr. Show alumni at the taping. On August 6, 2008, Bob Odenkirk announced on bobanddavid.com that David's Situation would not be produced.
In September 2009, Cross performed at his own comedy stage at the ATP New York 2009 music festival, for which he picked Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin & Jon Glaser and Derrick Brown & The Navy Gravy to join him. In 2009 Cross, along with Jon Benjamin, created and wrote for Paid Programming, a live action television pilot for Cartoon Network's late night programing block, Adult Swim. Paid Programming was not picked up for a full series, and Benjamin referred to it as an "abject failure".
Cross starred alongside Julia Stiles and America Ferrera in the dark comedy It's a Disaster, which premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the US distribution rights to the film, and plans to release it in select theaters starting April 13, 2013.
In October 2005, Cross was sued by Nashville club owner Thomas Weber, who accused Cross of taping him without permission for Shut Up You Fucking Baby and Let America Laugh in violation of Weber's privacy rights. In April 2006 the case against Cross himself was dismissed and the case proceeded with Warner Music, Subpop Records, WEA Corporation, and the Alternative Distribution Alliance.
In a 2012 interview with Playboy magazine, Cross revealed that he had snorted a small amount of cocaine at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Dinner. Cross said, "It wasn’t like I got high...It was just about being able to say that I did it, that I did cocaine in the same room as the president."
Larry the Cable Guy
In April 2005, Cross criticized stand-up comedian Larry the Cable Guy in a Rolling Stone interview, saying, "It's a lot of anti-gay, racist humor—which people like in America—all couched in 'I'm telling it like it is.' He's in the right place at the right time for that gee-shucks, proud-to-be-a-redneck, I'm-just-a-straight-shooter-multimillionaire-in-cutoff-flannel-selling-ring-tones act. That's where we are as a nation now. We're in a state of vague American values and anti-intellectual pride." In response, Larry devoted a chapter in his book GIT-R-DONE to Cross and the "P.C. left", claiming that Cross had "screwed with my fans, it was time for me to say something". Larry claimed that Rolling Stone was baiting comedians to attack him, and they turned to Cross only after Lewis Black refused (due to the fact that Larry and Lewis are good friends). Cross responded with An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy posted on his website. He continued to mock Larry in his stand-up, satirizing Blue Collar TV during a guest appearance on Wonder Showzen. In December 2005, he ended his performance on Comedy Central's Last Laugh '05 by mockingly yelling Larry's catchphrase, "GIT-R-DONE!", to the audience as he left the stage. He pokes fun at Larry's comedy in Freak Show with a character called "Danny the Plumber Guy".
Cross has criticized Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton on a Mr. Show sketch and in his stand-up performance The Pride Is Back, calling him "pretentious." Lipton, who thought that Cross's impression of him was not good-natured, would later appear alongside Cross in Arrested Development, in the recurring role of Prison Warden Stefan Gentles. During filming, Cross was impressed with Lipton's acting and comedic ability, and the two became good friends. On one commentary track for season four of Mr. Show, Cross discussed the encounter, complimenting Lipton for his professionalism and performance, saying that he liked Lipton personally but still "didn't care for" Inside The Actors Studio.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Responding to critics of his decision to appear in the critically panned but commercially successful Alvin and the Chipmunks, Cross noted that the film paid for a summer home, and more than "all my other projects combined: book, TV show, the two pilots, Year One, yeah." Although he has admitted to taking the role primarily for the money, he has said that he does not regret doing so or consider it to be "selling out" as he has nothing against entertainment designed for children to enjoy that does not send a bad message. Cross reprised his Chipmunks role in the film's two sequels. In 2011, Cross said that making Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the third film, was, in contrast, "the most unpleasant experience I've ever had in my professional life." He stated that this was due to clashes with one particular producer involved in the movie that he would not name, though he specified that it was not anyone in the cast, nor the director, and later posted a note to his Facebook page clarifying that it was not executive producers Janice Karman or Ross Bagdasarian either, whom he stated "were never anything but warm, giving, and gracious" and regretted that some speculated they were the producers to whom he referred.
On September 26, 2013, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler revealed that Cross was the first investor in the crowdfunding platform. Strickler included Cross among the "friends and family" who first financed Kickstarter in 2006.
|2002||Shut Up You Fucking Baby!|
|2004||It's Not Funny|
|2010||Bigger and Blackerer|
|2003||Let America Laugh|
|2004||Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1|
|2005||Invite Them Up|
|2009||I Drink for a Reason||Grand Central Publishing, New York (ISBN 978-0-446-57948-3)|
|1995||Destiny Turns on the Radio||Ralph Dellaposa|
|1996||The Truth About Cats & Dogs||Male Radio Caller/Bookstore Man|
|1996||The Cable Guy||Sales Manager|
|1996||Waiting for Guffman||UFO Expert|
|1997||Who's the Caboose?||Jaded Guy|
|1997||Men in Black||Newton, the Morgue Attendant|
|1998||Small Soldiers||Irwin Wayfair|
|1998||The Thin Pink Line||Tommy Dantsbury|
|1999||Can't Stop Dancing||Chapman|
|2000||Chain of Fools||Andy|
|2001||Dr. Dolittle 2||Dog #2||Voice|
|2001||Pootie Tang||Pootie Tang imposter|
|2001||Scary Movie 2||Dwight Hartman|
|2002||Life Without Dick||Rex|
|2002||Men in Black II||Newton, the Video Store Attendant|
|2002||Martin & Orloff||Dan Wasserman|
|2002||Run Ronnie Run||Ronnie||Writer
DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere Movie
|2003||Melvin Goes to Dinner||Seminar Leader||Phoenix Film Festival Copper Wing Award|
|2004||Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind||Rob|
|2006||Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!||Nathaniel Hörnblowér|
|2006||She's the Man||Principal Gold|
|2006||Curious George||Junior Bloomsberry||Voice|
|2006||School for Scoundrels||Ian Winsky|
|2007||Crashing||Man in Space|
|2007||The Grand||Larry Schwartzman|
|2007||I'm Not There||Allen Ginsberg|
|2007||Battle for Terra||Giddy||Voice|
|2007||Alvin and The Chipmunks||Ian Hawke|
|2008||The Toe Tactic||Timmy||Voice|
|2008||Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs||Yivo||Voice
|2008||Kung Fu Panda||Crane||Voice|
|2008||The Legend of Secret Pass||Loo||Voice|
|2009||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel||Ian Hawke|
|2011||Fight For Your Right Revisited||Nathaniel Hörnblowér||Short|
|2011||Megamind: The Button of Doom||Minion||Voice
|2011||Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked||Ian Hawke|
|2011||Kung Fu Panda 2||Crane||Voice|
|2012||It's a Disaster||Glenn Randolph|
|2013||Kill Your Darlings||Louis Ginsberg|
|2015||Kung Fu Panda 3||Crane||Voice
|1992–1993||The Ben Stiller Show||Boyfriend / Stage Manager||Writer
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1993)
|1995||A Bucket of Blood||Charlie||TV movie|
|1995–1998||Mr. Show with Bob and David||Host/Various||Co-creator, writer, executive producer
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1998, 1999)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics (1998)
|1996–1997||The Drew Carey Show||Earl||Episodes: "Drew and the Unstable Element"
"Two Drews and the Queen of Poland Walk Into a Bar"
|Episodes: "Houses of the Holy"
|1997–1998||Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||David||Voice
Episodes: "Big Fat Slug"
|1997–2000||Tenacious D||Comic Dressed as Nun||Co-creator, writer, executive producer|
Episode: "Hercules and the Owl of Athens"
|1999, 2000, 2003||Just Shoot Me!||Donnie DiMauro||Episodes: "Slow Donnie"
|2000||Strangers with Candy||Dr. Trepanning||Episode: "Is My Daddy Crazy?"|
|2001||Home Movies||Guy in Grocery Store||Voice
Episode: "Brendon's Choice"
|2002–2003||Aqua Teen Hunger Force||Happy Time Harry
Episodes: "Dumber Dolls"
"The Last One"
|2003–2004||Oliver Beene||Future Oliver David Beene||Voice
|2003||King of the Hill||Ward Rackley||Voice
Episode: "Witches of East Arlen"
|2003–2004||Crank Yankers||Benjamin Dubois
|2003–2006, 2013||Arrested Development||Dr. Tobias Fünke||Series regular
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006)
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series (2004)
Episodes: "Hope Springs Eternal"
|2005||Tom Goes to the Mayor||Todd||Voice
|2005–2007||The Colbert Report||Russ Lieber||Voice
Episode: "Big Jerk on Campus"
|2006||Wonder Showzen||T-Totaled Timbo
|Episodes: "Middle America"
Co-creator, writer, executive producer
|2006||Family Guy||Jerry Kirkwood||Voice
Episode: "Prick Up Your Ears"
|2007–2008||Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!||Pizza Boy
Pussy Doodles Artist
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Ronnie Chase||Episode: "Bombshell"|
|2007||Odd Job Jack||Julius J||Episode: "King Ho"|
|2008||David's Situation||David||Failed pilot
|2008||Human Giant||Peter Burns||Episodes: "Still Here, Man. Still Here."
"She Be a Witch"
|2009||Important Things with Demetri Martin||Co-worker||Episode: "Chairs"|
|2009||Paid Programming||Failed pilot
|2010–2011||Running Wilde||Dr. Andy Weeks||7 episodes|
|2010–2012||The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||Todd Margaret||Creator, writer, associate producer|
Episodes: "Heart of Archness: Part I"
"Heart of Archness: Part II"
"Heart of Archness: Part III"
|2011||Soul Quest Overdrive||Bert||Voice|
|2011–2012||Modern Family||Duane||Episodes: "Door to Door"
"Hit and Run"
"Little Bo Bleep"
|2012||Mary Shelley's Frankenhole||Jim Belushi
Episode: "Robert Louis Stevenson's Belushi"
|2012–2013||Comedy Bang Bang||Chef
|2013||The Heart, She Holler||Jack||9 episodes|
|1997||"Watery Hands" by Superchunk||Actor|
|1997||"Sugarcube" by Yo La Tengo||Actor|
|2004||"10 A.M. Automatic" by The Black Keys||Director|
|2005||"Juicebox" by The Strokes||Actor|
|2005||"Use It" by The New Pornographers||Actor|
|2006||"Vicarious" DVD by Tool||Commentary|
|2011||"Make Some Noise" by Beastie Boys||Actor|
G-Phoria Award for Best Voice Male Performance
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||Zero||Voice|
|2009||Brütal Legend||The Screamer||Voice|
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- "David Cross biography". Yahoo! Singapore. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- "'While I’m doing Alvin And The Chipmunks, I'm thinking of awful risque things': Interview with David Cross". Chortle.com.uk. October 29, 2010.
- "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast – Episode 269 – David Cross". Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- Adam Carolla Podcast Interview
- "David Cross 10/7/2010". Adam Carolla Show. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011.
- Odenkirk, Naomi. (2002). Mr. Show What Happened?! Beverly Hills, CA: The Management Group. ISBN 9713597-8-4
- "David Cross Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. 1964-04-04. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- Deutsch, Ron (1999-10-08). "Something Completely Different". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
- "Joe Frank: A Conversation". KCRW: UnFictional. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Bruna Nessif, "Blast from the Past: Funnyman David Cross Wears His Own Fur in Never Nude PETA Ad," EOnline, 22 May 2013.
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- "Scrubs: Zach May Come Back & An Arrested Development Guest?". TV Series Finale.com. Sep. 9, 2006. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2010. "What is for sure is Zach’s desire to work with actor David Cross.[...]Zach and Bill both love Cross’ character from Development and prompted Zach to say “I want David Cross to come on as Tobias. I’m trying to broker that deal. I think that it would be so funny because I love [that character]. I want him to have at least one more life.”"
- "I Drink for a Reason". Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Heisler, Steve (4 February 2011). "Random Roles H. Jon Benjamin". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "David Cross- new CD/DVD announced". idiomag. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
- "Oscilloscope.net – It's a Disaster". Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Dylan (Aug. 21, 2006). "Lawsuit Against David Cross, Warner Music Dismissed". Mediabistro.com. Retrieved Nov. 10, 2010.
- Riden, Chad (Oct. 12, 2005). "Thomas Weber (Exit-In dude) sues David Cross". nashvillestandup.com. Retrieved Nov. 10, 2010.
- Carlson, Erin (February 22, 2012). "David Cross Admits to Snorting Cocaine at the White House Correspondents Dinner". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Ullman, Ethan (24 March 2010). "Interview with comedian Lewis Black". Albany Student Press. Retrieved 24 July 2013. "And we totally don't agree on politics, but he's a friend of mine."
- An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy
- The Pride Is Back, track: "James Lipton"
- Will Harris. "A Couple of Questions with James Lipton" Premium Hollywood; May 24, 2007
- Netburn, Deborah. "Comedian defends his kid-flick role" Los Angeles Times, 3 January 2008.
- Sicha, Choire. "It's full speed ahead for David Cross" Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2009.
- "Amplified: David Cross Defends 'Chipmunks'". YouTube. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
- Toro, Gabe (December 14, 2011). David Cross Calls 'Chip-Wrecked' 'The Most Unpleasant Experience' Of His Career. Indiewire.com. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- 'Chipwrecked' producer responds to David Cross' statements and Facebook apology
- "Interview: David Cross". The A.V. Club. September 15, 1999.
- "Stand-up Comic David Cross". NPR. 2003-02-06. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
- Silverman, Stephen M.; Jordan, Julie (August 17, 2011). "David Cross & Amber Tamblyn Are Engaged". People.
- Fowler, Brandi (October 7, 2012). "Amber Tamblyn and David Cross Get Married!". E! Online. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Glenn Fleishman (September 26, 2013). "And the Crowdfund Goes Wild". The New Disruptors (Podcast). http://newdisrupt.org/blog/2013/8/26/and-the-crowdfund-goes-wild-with-yancey-strickler. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
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