Will Forte

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Will Forte
Will Forte 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Forte at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Born Orville Willis Forte IV
(1970-06-17) June 17, 1970 (age 43)[1]
Alameda County, California, U.S.
Other names Orville Forte
Education Acalanes High School
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Actor, comedian, screenwriter
Years active 1997–present

Orville Willis Forte IV (born June 17, 1970), better known as Will Forte, is an American comedic actor and writer best known for his roles as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (2002–2010), the title character of its spin-off film MacGruber, Paul L'Astnamé in 30 Rock, and David Grant in Nebraska.

Personal life[edit]

Forte was born in Alameda County, California, the son of Patricia C. (née Stivers), an artist, and Orville Willis Forte III, a financial broker.[2] He was raised in Moraga, California, before moving to Lafayette, California, and graduated from Acalanes High School, where he played varsity football, was a swimmer, served as class president[3] and was voted best personality. He attended UCLA, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and completed a degree in history.[4] His parents divorced when he was in his early twenties.[5] He planned to become a financial broker like his father, but worked at a brokerage house for just one year before deciding to pursue comedy professionally. He worked as a math tutor (one of his students was actress Faye Dunaway’s son Liam)[6] and at a music publishing house.[7] Forte is a supporter of the camp Wampler's Kids and recorded a promotional piece at SNL with Will Ferrell. Forte was a childhood friend of founder Steven Wampler[8] and previously the national spokesman for SciEyes, a non-profit organization created to support research, training and public education in stem cell biology and to further the field by recognizing and supporting its potential for creating new therapies for the treatment of blinding and debilitating eye diseases.[9] Forte was one of the primary donors responsible for the establishment of a research fellowship for third-year medical students at Duke Medical Center.[10] He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness.[11] He is especially close with his family. His mother has visited every film set he's worked on and made an appearance on the Mother's Day episode of SNL in which he sang a song to her on Weekend Update. Forte officiated his sister Michelle's wedding and filmed the birth of his niece and nephew.[12] During a conversation with Scott Aukerman on the podcast, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Forte discussed his parents' divorce and the family's decision to have Christmas together after his father’s second divorce. During the same interview, Forte joked about his OCD tendencies with a story of listening to only one song in his office at SNL for an entire year because he wanted to challenge himself.[13] During an interview with Larry King, Forte discussed his OCDs as a challenge he had to overcome but not ones he wished he did not have, as it is a part of his personality.[14]

Career[edit]

Forte and Anna Faris in 2013

Forte's show business career began in 1997, when he was hired as a writer for the New York City-based Late Show with David Letterman.[15] The next year he moved to Los Angeles and joined The Groundlings, where his skills as a writer led to various projects, including a job in 2000 as a staff writer for 3rd Rock From The Sun and later, That 70’s Show.[15]

He was a consultant on the short-lived animated series God, the Devil and Bob and producer of That '70s Show during the 2001-2002 season. Forte provided the voice of Abe Lincoln in the critically acclaimed but short-lived animated series Clone High. He was a guest voice on the animated series Drawn Together, Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Forte made an appearance on friend Demetri Martin's album, These Are Jokes and can be heard on the track "Personal Information Waltz". He guest starred on HBO's Flight of the Conchords as a "semi-professional" actor who poses as a record company executive. After his film debut Around the World in 80 Days, he was in the Broken Lizard films Beerfest and The Slammin' Salmon. Forte had struck a deal ten years earlier to write a feature based on characters from a pilot he'd written for Carsey-Werner. As an agreement to terminate his contract with Carsey-Werner and executive producer Tom Werner he agreed to develop a feature film about brothers named The Brothers Solomon, that he stars with Will Arnett, (whose ex-wife and SNL castmate Amy Poehler considered him an ideal for the role of John Solomon, named after his writing partner) Kristen Wiig, Chi McBride, Malin Akerman, and Lee Majors. The film was directed by comic Bob Odenkirk on a 32-day schedule on a budget of $10 million.[16] In 2008, Forte had a small role in the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler film Baby Mama. He and frequent writing partner John Solomon wrote some segments for Extreme Movie along with fellow SNL castmembers Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island. He appeared in the 2009 film Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, directed by John Krasinski and adapted from the short story collection of the same title. Forte had a cameo The Slammin' Salmon by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard. He guest starred in an episode of the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother as one of Barney's co-workers and potential new wingman. Forte is a recurring guest on the Adult Swim comedy program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, also appearing in Tim and Eric Nite Live!, Forte also appeared on The Young Person's Guide to History, a television special on Adult Swim. From 1997 to 2007, Forte contributed as a consultant and writer of segments on the MTV Movie Awards and MTV Video Awards. Forte voiced Martin Serious in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and played a radio host of the same name. He wrote the short story "Beware of Math Tutors Who Ride Motorcycles" for the book Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me. In 2009, Forte became a regular voice cast member in the Fox comedy series, Sit Down, Shut Up. He voiced Stuart Proszakian, in Allen Gregory. He also voiced Principal Wally, a recurring character on The Cleveland Show. On April 19, 2010, as MacGruber, he co-guest hosted WWE Raw with Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe to promote the film of the same name. Forte co-wrote and starred in the title role of MacGruber, based on his SNL character which was co-written by writing partner John Solomon and director Jorma Taccone. They filmed it during their 2009 hiatus from SNL with a 28-day filming schedule in New Mexico on a $10 million budget,[17] Forte left SNL soon after its May 2010 theatrical release.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Forte did not audition for Saturday Night Live in 2001 but had the initial offer to write and produce That '70s Show. He auditioned in 2002 and was hired as a featured player and writer.[18] He was upgraded to repertory cast after only one season on the show (most cast members have to wait two) and the last cast member rehired after his third season (the show’s cast was considered bloated and there were major cuts made during the hiatus).[18] Forte took over the role of then-president George W. Bush following the departure of Will Ferrell, a season with Chris Parnell in the role, and a brief half-season of Darrell Hammond playing the part. Forte featured as a number of recurring characters over the years, including his Groundlings' character Tim Calhoun, The Falconer, MacGruber, Mr. Dillon in the Gilly sketches, Greg Stink, and as one of the characters in the Song Memories sketches. Forte was often featured as a guest at the Weekend Update desk. He had several recurring Update characters, such as Tim Calhoun. He often appeared in musical bits on Weekend Update, such as one of The Kelly Brothers, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, and a member of reverse Bon Jovi band, Jon Bovi. Forte was one of the writers and stars of the first "SNL Digital Short" Lettuce.[19] Many of his absurdist sketches were aired late in the show. Although he played them, Forte felt impersonations were not his strong suit (with the exception of musical impressions), one of the reasons Jason Sudeikis took over the role of George W. Bush. He extended his seven-year contract an additional year.[20] On August 26, 2010, Forte left SNL after eight years on the show to focus on other projects[21] and in 2012 after ten years. Forte stated in an interview his primary reason for leaving was to be close to family. Since leaving, Forte has stated he left on good terms with executive producer Lorne Michaels.[20] On April 2, 2011 & May 12, 2012, he made a guest appearance on the show, reprising his role of Greg Stink.

After SNL[edit]

Forte reprised his role as Randy in How I Met Your Mother and guest starred on Parks and Recreation as Kelly in the episode "Time Capsule". On November 10, 2010, Forte began making recurring appearances as a parodic version of TBS founder Ted Turner on the third episode of Conan O'Brien's new talk show, Conan, which airs on TBS. Forte had voicework in animated shows such as HBO’s The Life and Times of Tim, American Dad!, Allen Gregory, The Cleveland Show, and Gravity Falls. He recorded a guest appearance for the third season of Bob's Burgers. Forte appeared in 11 episodes of the sitcom 30 Rock. After playing a bit part in the episode "Black Tie", Forte returned to the show to portray main character Jenna Maroney's "GenderdysmorphicBigenitalianPansexual" partner, Paul L'Astnamé. Forte guest stars in the FX series The League the fall of 2011 and appeared in three episodes of Up All Night as a friend of Will Arnett’s character. He was a leading character in the raunchy comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (costarring SNL castmate Jason Sudeikis). He had cameos in the 2012 films Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, Rock of Ages, That's My Boy, and The Watch. Forte appeared with Andy Samberg as male cheerleaders in Grown Ups 2 (2013). In spring 2012, he was cast in the lead of the comedy pilot Rebounding. Despite a high approval rating, the series was not picked up by Fox but was shopped to other networks and cable channels.[22] Forte filmed Steph Green's drama Run and Jump at Ireland, in summer 2012,[23] and co-starred with Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne's 2013 comedy drama film, Nebraska.[24] In 2013, Forte replaced Ty Burrell in the upcoming film, Life of Crime as Marshall Taylor in the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel The Switch.[25] He filmed a role in the indie comedy Trouble Dolls and Peter Bogdanovich's She's Funny That Way.[26] Forte appears in the Mumford and Sons music video, Hopeless Wanderer.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Actor[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Young Bobby Film debut
2006 Beerfest Otto
2007 The Brothers Solomon Dean Solomon Also writer
2008 Baby Mama Scott
2009 The Slammin' Salmon Horace the Lone Diner
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject #72
2009 Fanboys THX Security Guard #4
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Joe Towne Voice
2010 MacGruber MacGruber Also writer
2011 A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Glenn
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Allen Bishopman
2012 Rock of Ages Mitchy Miley
2012 That's My Boy Phil
2012 The Watch Sergeant Bressman
2013 Grown Ups 2 Male Cheerleader Uncredited
2013 Run & Jump Ted
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Chester V Voice
2013 Nebraska David Grant
2014 The Lego Movie Abraham Lincoln Voice
2014 Trouble Dolls
2014 Life of Crime Marshall Taylor
2015 She's Funny That Way Joshua Fleet
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Late Show with David Letterman Snow Shovel Murder Victim Uncredited, Also writer (1997–1998)
Episode: Robert Pastorelli/Craig Kilborn/Live
2002–03 Clone High Abe Lincoln Voice, Series regular
2002–10 Saturday Night Live Various 157 episodes, Also writer
2006 Campus Ladies Stuart 2 episodes
2006 Drawn Together Kirk Cameron Voice, Episode: Lost in Parking Space Part 1
2006 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Alien Voice, Episode: Antenna
2007 Flight of the Conchords Ben Episode: The Actor
2007 Tim and Eric Nite Live! Emanuel Melly Episode #1.5
2008 Young Person's Guide to History Comte de Buffon (Frenchman) Episode #1.1
2009 Sit Down, Shut Up Stuart Proszakian Voice, Series regular
2010 The Life and Times of Tim Chipper Voice, Episode: Unjustly Neglected Drama
2010 WWE Raw MacGruber Episode: Monday Night Smackdown
2010 Funny or Die Presents Cast (Scott & Behr), Sleeping Celebrity 2 episodes
2010 Squidbillies Tom Treebow Episode: Lean Green Touchdown Makifying Machine
2007–10 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Various 6 episodes
2008–10 How I Met Your Mother Randy Wharmpess 2 episodes
2011 Parks and Recreation Kelly Larson Episode: Time Capsule
2011 Allen Gregory Ian, Stuart Rossmyre, Sid Lampis Voice, Series regular
2011 The League Chuck Episode: The Out of Towner
2007–12 30 Rock Paul L'Astnamé 13 episodes
2009–12 American Dad! Henry Watkins, Various Voice, 5 episodes
2011–12 Up All Night Reed 3 episodes
2011–12 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Gordie Gibble Voice, Series regular
2009–13 The Cleveland Show Principal Wally Farquhare, Various Voice, 22 episodes
2010–13 Conan Ted Turner 14 episodes
2012–13 Comedy Bang! Bang! Chet Barnsider, Felix Dewhurst 2 episodes
2013 Drunk History Edwin Booth Episode: Washington D.C.
2013 Bob's Burgers Kurt, Mr. Grant Voice, 2 episodes
2012–present Gravity Falls Tyler the Cute Biker Voice, Series regular
2012–present Lab Rats Eddy/Viral Eddy Voice, Series regular
2013–14 Comedy Bang! Bang! Photographer/Various characters 2 episodes
2015 Last Man on Earth Also creator and writer
Video games
Year Title Role
2009 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Martin Serious

Writer[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

WonNational Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Pending – American Comedy Award for Supporting Comedy Actor - Film
NominatedIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
NominatedSt. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor

NominatedPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ancestry.com. California Birth Index, 1905–1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005
  2. ^ http://www.cineplex.com/People/will-forte
  3. ^ The Mortified Session, TV interview, Sundance Channel
  4. ^ "Alumni". Lambda Chi Alpha at UCLA. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  5. ^ http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_460_-_will_forte
  6. ^ Crooks, Peter (April 2010). Will Power. Diablo Magazine. p. 2 of 3. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  7. ^ audio commentary on The Brothers Solomon
  8. ^ "Will Forte Promotes Wampler Kids". YouTube. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  9. ^ "Researcher Uses Stem Cells on Eye Disease". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  10. ^ "SNL Comedian Launches Stem Cell Research Fellowship at Duke Medical Center". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  11. ^ Rosen, Jeremy (13 March 2008). "NPACH Staff And Board Of Directors". NPACH.org. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  12. ^ Crooks, Peter (April 2010). Will Power (page 1 of 3). Diablo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  13. ^ "Jing It Or Ding It!, episode #153 of Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast". Earwolf. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  14. ^ "Will Forte". Larry King Now. Season 1. Episode 7. 26 July 2012. Hulu. http://www.hulu.com/watch/384514.
  15. ^ a b Zakarin, Jordan (October 15, 2013). "Will Forte’s Stunning, Dramatic Change". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  16. ^ "The Brothers Solomon - Production Notes". CinemaReview.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  17. ^ audio commentary of McGruber with Will Forte, Jorma Taccone, and John Solomon
  18. ^ a b Will Forte interview with Jimmy Pardo, Never Not Funny podcast
  19. ^ Wright, Megh (11 October 2011). "Saturday Night's Children: Will Forte (2002-2010)". Splitsider. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  20. ^ a b Sampson, Mike (31 August 2010). "Exclusive: MacGruber star Will Forte talks leaving SNL". JoBlo.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  21. ^ Barrett, Annie. (2010-08-26) 'Saturday Night Live': Will Forte reportedly leaving on amicable terms. Popwatch.ew.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-06.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (9 May 2012). "Fox Passes On 'Rebounding': Will Steve Levitan Ever Again Sell A Show There?". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  23. ^ "Run and Jump". The Irish Film & Television Network. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (6 August 2012). "TOLDJA! Paramount Heads To 'Nebraska' With Bruce Dern And Will Forte". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  25. ^ Sneider, Jeff (8 January 2013). "Will Forte, Tim Robbins make 'The Switch'". Variety. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  26. ^ Kit, Borys (24 July 2013). "Will Forte Joins Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  27. ^ "Mumford and Sons release hilarious Hopeless Wanderer video". Music Blogged. 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 

External links[edit]