Will Forte

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Will Forte
Feed America, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Anna Faris and Will Forte 3 (rotated).jpg
Anna Faris and Forte in 2013.
Born Orville Willis Forte IV
(1970-06-17) June 17, 1970 (age 44)
Alameda County, California, U.S.
Other names Orville Forte
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, producer
Years active 1997–present

Orville Willis Forte IV (born June 17, 1970),[1] known professionally as Will Forte, is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer. He is 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. He is the creator and star of The Last Man on Earth.[2]

Early life[edit]

Forte was born in Alameda County, California, to Patricia C. (née Stivers), an artist, and Orville Willis Forte III, a financial broker.[3] 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[4] 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.[5] His parents divorced when he was in his early twenties.[6]

Forte 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)[7] and at a music publishing house.


Anna Faris and Forte in 2013.

Forte began his show business career in 1997, when he was hired as a writer for the New York City-based Late Show with David Letterman.[8] In 1998, 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 '70s Show.[8]

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 voiced 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.[citation needed]

Forte had struck a deal ten years earlier to write a feature based on characters from a pilot that he wrote 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, 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.[9] In 2008, Forte had a small role in Baby Mama. He and writing partner John Solomon wrote some segments for Extreme Movie. 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. 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!. He appeared on The Young Person's Guide to History, a television special on Adult Swim. From 1997 to 2007, he 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. In 2009, he became a regular voice cast member in the Fox comedy series, Sit Down, Shut Up. 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. He 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.[citation needed]

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.[10] 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).[10] 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. Forte was one of the writers and stars of the first "SNL Digital Short" Lettuce.[11] 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.[12] On August 26, 2010, Forte left SNL after eight years on the show to focus on other projects[13] 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.[12] On April 2, 2011 and May 12, 2012, he made a guest appearance on the show, reprising his role of Greg Stink.[citation needed]

After SNL[edit]

Forte at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

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. Forte guest-starred in the FX series The League. He was a leading character in the raunchy comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy. He had cameo roles 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.[14][15] and co-starred with Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne's Nebraska (2013).[16]

In 2013, Forte replaced Ty Burrell in Life of Crime as Marshall Taylor alongside Jennifer Aniston.[17] He filmed a role in the indie comedy Trouble Dolls and Peter Bogdanovich's She's Funny That Way.[18] Forte appears in the Mumford and Sons music video, Hopeless Wanderer.[19]

Personal life[edit]

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[20] 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.[21] He was a primary donor towards the establishment of a research fellowship for third-year medical students at Duke Medical Center.[22] He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness.[23]

Forte 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.[24] 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 Obsessive–compulsive disorder (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.[25] During an interview with Larry King, Forte discussed his OCD as a challenge he had to overcome but not one he wished he did not have, as it is a part of his personality.[26][27] In a feature on him and his new Fox series in February 2015, the writer of the article said that Forte mentioned OCD often but it wasn't clear if he'd ever been formally diagnosed, though Forte related how he and a former girlfriend had gone through an OCD questionnaire and it concluded that Forte "should immediately talk to someone about this". The article also noted that the 44-year-old Forte had never been married but did not cite recent news reports that he had begun dating January Jones, his co-star from The Last Man on Earth. (http://grantland.com/features/will-forte-last-man-on-earth-macgruber/)



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Young Bobby
2006 Beerfest Otto
2007 The Brothers Solomon Dean Solomon Also writer
2008 Baby Mama Scott
2008 Extreme Movie Writer
2009 The Slammin' Salmon Horace the Lone Diner Cameo
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 Mitch 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 Life of Crime Marshall Taylor
2013 Nebraska David Grant
2014 The Lego Movie Abraham Lincoln Voice
2014 She's Funny That Way Joshua Fleet
2015 Don Verdean Pastor Fontaine
2016 The Ridiculous Six


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Jenny Writer
1997–1998 Late Show with David Letterman Snow Shovel Murder Victim Uncredited
Episode: "Robert Pastorelli/Craig Kilborn/Live"; also writer
1998 The Army Show Writer
1999–2000 Action Writer
1999–2001 3rd Rock from the Sun Writer
2000 God, the Devil, and Bob Writer
2001–2003 That '70s Show Writer
2002–2003 Clone High Abe Lincoln (voice) 13 episodes
2002–2010 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) 13 episodes
2010 The Life and Times of Tim Chipper (voice) Episode: "Unjustly Neglected Drama"
2010 WWE Raw MacGruber 1 episode
2010 Funny or Die Presents Cast (Scott & Behr) / Sleeping Celebrity 2 episodes
2010 Squidbillies Tom Treebow Episode: "Lean Green Touchdown Makifying Machine"
2007–2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Will Grello / Pall Willeaux / J.J. Pepper / Dr. Reid Tamaranda 6 episodes
2008–2010 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 (voices) 7 episodes
2011 The League Chuck Episode: "The Out of Towner"
2007–2012 30 Rock Paul L'Astnamé 13 episodes
2009–2015 American Dad! Various voices 6 episodes
2011–2012 Up All Night Reed 3 episodes
2009–2013 The Cleveland Show Principal Wally Farquhare / Various voices 22 episodes
2010–2013 Conan Ted Turner 14 episodes
2012–2013 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 (voices) 2 episodes
2012–present Gravity Falls Tyler the Cute Biker (voice) 10 episodes
2012–2014 Lab Rats Eddy / Viral Eddy / Cheddy (voices) 19 episodes
2013–2014 Kroll Show Various roles 2 episodes
2014 The Awesomes Malocchio Jr. (voice) 9 episodes
2014 The Simpsons King Toot (voice) Episode: "Covercraft"
2015–present The Last Man on Earth Phil Miller 13 episodes; also creator, writer, executive producer

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice Role
2009 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Martin Serious

Awards and nominations[edit]

WonNational Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – 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


  1. ^ Ancestry.com. California Birth Index, 1905–1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2014). "Fox Orders Will Forte Comedy 'Last Man On Earth' To Series For Midseason 2015". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ Will Forte profile, cineplex.com; accessed March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ The Mortified Session, TV interview, Sundance Channel
  5. ^ "Alumni". Lambda Chi Alpha at UCLA. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  6. ^ Profile, wtfpod.com; accessed March 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Crooks, Peter (April 2010). "Will Power". Diablo Magazine. p. 2. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  8. ^ a b Zakarin, Jordan (October 15, 2013). "Will Forte’s Stunning, Dramatic Change". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  9. ^ "The Brothers Solomon - Production Notes". CinemaReview.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  10. ^ a b Will Forte interview with Jimmy Pardo, Never Not Funny podcast
  11. ^ Wright, Megh (October 11, 2011). "Saturday Night's Children: Will Forte (2002-2010)". Splitsider. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  12. ^ a b Sampson, Mike (August 31, 2010). "Exclusive: MacGruber star Will Forte talks leaving SNL". JoBlo.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  13. ^ Barrett, Annie. (2010-08-26) 'Saturday Night Live': Will Forte reportedly leaving on amicable terms, Popwatch.ew.com; retrieved 2011-06-06.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2012). "Fox Passes On 'Rebounding': Will Steve Levitan Ever Again Sell A Show There?". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  15. ^ "Run and Jump". The Irish Film & Television Network. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  16. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (August 6, 2012). "TOLDJA! Paramount Heads To 'Nebraska' With Bruce Dern And Will Forte". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  17. ^ Sneider, Jeff (8 January 2013). "Will Forte, Tim Robbins make 'The Switch'". Variety. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (24 July 2013). "Will Forte Joins Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  19. ^ "Mumford and Sons release hilarious Hopeless Wanderer video". Music Blogged. 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  20. ^ "Will Forte Promotes Wampler Kids". YouTube. May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  21. ^ "Researcher Uses Stem Cells on Eye Disease". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  22. ^ "SNL Comedian Launches Stem Cell Research Fellowship at Duke Medical Center". Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  23. ^ Rosen, Jeremy (March 13, 2008). "NPACH Staff And Board Of Directors". NPACH.org. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  24. ^ Crooks, Peter (April 2010). "Will Power (page 1 of 3)". Diablo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  25. ^ "Jing It Or Ding It!, episode #153 of Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast". earwolf.com. April 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  26. ^ "Will Forte". Larry King Now. Season 1. Episode 7. July 26, 2012. Hulu. 
  27. ^ Ryan, Mike (2011-05-25). "Life After MacGruber and SNL: Catching up with Will Forte". Movieline. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 

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