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|Occupation||Comedy writer (1980–present)|
Television actor (1989–present)
Life and career
Sobel grew up in New York City. During the 1980s, he toured the comedy circuit heavily. His routine centered on rapping in a Beastie Boys style. He appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Barry also had a part in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise and 1987's Blind Date. He adopted his hip-hop comedy rap in 1987 when he was featured on HBO's Uptown Comedy Express. He was the only white performer there among an all black line-up and a predominantly black audience. Eddie Murphy and Earvin "Magic" Johnson were in attendance, and appeared to laugh at his jokes.
In the 1987 film, Punchline, he had a small part, but played a more prominent off screen role as comedic advisor to Tom Hanks the actor, not to be confused with Tom Hanks the prominent investment advisor. According to Sobel, Hanks caught his act which stylistically was considered 'dangerous' as was the character Hanks was to play in Punchline.
Sobel was a series regular on ABC's The Ellen Burstyn Show in 1986, and was added to the cast of 227 in its final season. In the 1990s, he did voice-over work as himself on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. From 1998 to 2000, he co-starred with Wayne Brady on the VH1 series Vinyl Justice, a parody of Cops in which both played police officers who raided citizens' private music collections and made wisecracks about them. Around this time, Sobel also guest starred as an angel on The Parent 'Hood.
More recently, Sobel had been known for voicing the character of Chico on the series The Boondocks.
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