Bobby Lee

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Bobby Lee
Lee in 2023
Birth nameRobert Young Lee Jr.
Born (1971-09-17) September 17, 1971 (age 52)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1994–present
GenresObservational comedy, black comedy, blue comedy
Subject(s)Human behavior, human sexuality, American politics, gender differences

Robert Young Lee Jr. (born September 17, 1971)[1][2] is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and podcaster. From 2001 to 2009, Lee was a cast member on MADtv, and he co-starred in the ABC single-camera sitcom series Splitting Up Together alongside Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson between 2018 and 2019. Lee has also appeared in the films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Pineapple Express (2008), and The Dictator (2012). He had a guest appearance as the cynical, burned-out Dr. Kang on FX on Hulu's TV comedy series Reservation Dogs.

Lee co-hosts the podcast Bad Friends with Andrew Santino. He also co-hosts the podcast TigerBelly with Khalyla Kuhn.

Early life and education

Lee was born on September 17, 1971, to Korean immigrant parents Jeanie and Robert Lee.[3][4] He and his younger brother Steve grew up in Poway, California.[5] His parents owned clothing stores in both Escondido and Encinitas, California.[4][6]

He attended Painted Rock Elementary School, Twin Peaks Middle School, and Poway High School.[4] In high school, he was part of a breakdancing team.[7] After graduation, he attended Palomar College before dropping out.[4]


Lee worked at cafes and restaurants before pursuing a career in comedy.[8] In 1994, the coffee shop where he was working abruptly closed.[8][9] Lee stated, "I just went next door to get a job, which was The Comedy Store in San Diego."[8] After a few months of working odd jobs at the club, he tried stand-up during one of their amateur nights.[8] Within a year of doing regular comedy sets, he received offers to open for both Pauly Shore and Carlos Mencia.[4][8] He then began working regularly at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, a comedy club owned by Pauly Shore's mother Mitzi.[4]

Lee has said that his parents had hoped he would continue on with the family business and were less than supportive of his comedic pursuits at first.[4][8][6] During a podcast interview conducted by fellow actor and comedian Joe Rogan on February 1, 2011, Lee stated that during the first few years he did stand-up, his parents barely spoke to him. However, after his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno his father called him, asked how much he had to pay to be on the show, and then apologized for not supporting his comedy career.[10]

Lee has included his family in some of his work; his brother has appeared in several non-speaking roles on MADtv, and his entire immediate family has appeared in a sketch on the show. In 2007, he pitched a sitcom to Comedy Central about a Korean family, which was to star his own family.[6]

In 2012, Lee was hired to reboot Maker Studios' YouTube comedy channel, The Station.[11]

Lee hosted the 9th MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert in 2013.[12]

From 2019 to 2023, Lee made several appearances as recurring character Jin Jeong in the Magnum P.I. television series.

In 2020, Lee began co-hosting the Bad Friends podcast with Andrew Santino.[13]


In 2001, Lee joined the cast of MADtv,[6] making him the show's first and only Asian cast member. He has stated that he dreaded playing the characters Bae Sung and Connie Chung, as well as the "Average Asian" skits.[8] Lee remained with the cast until the series' cancellation in 2009[8] and returned briefly when MADtv was revived in 2016 on The CW.[citation needed] Some of Lee's recurring characters included:

Character name Description
Kim Jong-il Host of the imaginary Kim Jong-il Show
Connie Chung Journalist
Bae Sung The hapless interpreter
Tank Asian-American "Street Tuner" character in the style of the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Xing Lao "Johnny" Gan Host of Many Shows! With Johnny Gan and Pongo
"The Blind Kung-fu Master" Title character
Dr. Poon Ji-Sum Character on the Korean soap opera parody Taedo-Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive
Hideki "The Average Asian" Asian man whose friends think he adheres to the stereotypes associated with East Asian people
John McCain United States Senator from Arizona
Stewie Griffin Infant super-villain in a live-action re-creation of a scene from the Family Guy episode "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci High"
Yamanashi Student in gym class of Coach Hines (Keegan-Michael Key), who always gets yelled at and harassed by Coach Hines (whether or not he deserved it).

TigerBelly podcast

Hosted byBobby Lee
Khalyla Kuhn
FormatAudio & Video
Length60–90 minutes
ProductionBobby Lee
Khalyla Kuhn
Gilbert Galon
George Kimmel
Bryce Hallock
No. of episodes343 (as of April 18, 2022)
Original releaseSeptember 1, 2015

Started in 2015, TigerBelly is a video podcast hosted by Bobby Lee and his ex-partner, Khalyla Kuhn. It also features appearances by technical engineer Gilbert Galon[14] and producer George Kimmel.[15] The show's intro song "Shadow Gook" was written and produced by Lee and performed by Lee and Kuhn.[16] The hosts discuss events from their lives and news topics from popular culture, often revolving around Asian American issues related to the entertainment industry, adolescence, sexuality, ethnicity, racism, and politics.[citation needed]

Prior to the creation of TigerBelly, Lee and Erik Griffin pitched a podcast to All Things Comedy but never developed the show.[17] While Kuhn was recovering from heart surgery, she developed a podcast as a way to occupy herself. Lee assisted her with its creation and eventually appeared on her show.[18][19] He then decided to focus on a podcast with Kuhn instead of with Griffin.[18]

Personal life

Lee began taking methamphetamine and marijuana around age 12, as well as heroin by age 15, and went through three drug-rehabilitation attempts before becoming sober when he was 17.[5][20][21] Lee relapsed on Vicodin and ended 12 years of sobriety after receiving negative feedback from a producer.[22][5] He got sober after MADtv producer Lauren Dombrowski fought for him after he was fired from the show a second time, a story which Lee discusses in his appearance on the pilot episode of Comedy Central's TV series This Is Not Happening.[23] On TigerBelly episode 224, Lee admitted to guest Theo Von that he had relapsed after his father's death in August 2019 from Parkinson's disease.[24] He subsequently went to rehab and became sober again.[25] Lee has stated that he is a recovering alcoholic.[18]

Lee is a long-time Arsenal Football Club supporter.

Lee is an avid fan of video games, including FIFA, Stardew Valley, The Elder Scrolls, Red Dead Redemption 2, and The Witcher series.

Lee's younger brother, Steve Lee, is a musician[26] and comedian. He hosts The Steebee Weebee podcast and co-hosts the Scissor Bros podcast with comedian Jeremiah Watkins. He has also made guest appearances alongside Lee on MADtv, especially in sketches featuring Lee's recurring characters of Kim Jong-il and Tank.



Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Underground Comedy Movie Chinese Man [27]
2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead Delivery Boy
American Misfits Korean General Video
2004 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Kenneth Park
2005 Accidentally on Purpose Bobby Short
2006 Undoing Kenny
2007 Kickin' It Old Skool Aki
2008 Killer Pad Winnie
Pineapple Express Bobby
Larry of Arabia Bobby Short
2009 Soldiers of Capernaum - Video
2010 Fudgy Wudgy Fudge Face Kangaroo Hands
Hard Breakers Travis
2011 Paul Valet
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas Kenneth Park
2012 The Dictator Mr. Lao
2013 Final Recipe Park
Wedding Palace Kevin
Jesus is My Co-Pilot Himself Short
2014 Meet Me at the Reck Himself Video
Bro, What Happened? Brah Man
Out of Love Stanley Short
2015 The Comments Hugh Short
2016 Laid in America Goose
Keeping Up with the Joneses Ricky Lu
2018 Curious Georgina Bobby Short
Public Disturbance Chuck
2019 Extracurricular Activities Mr. Mulnick
2020 The Wrong Missy Check-In Desk Employee
Guest House Benny
2021 Wish Dragon Tall Goon (voice)
How It Ends Derek
Hero Mode VP Goodson
2023 Death and Ramen Timmy Lee Short
The Throwback Charles
2024 Drugstore June Bill
Borderlands Larry


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Arli$$ - Episode: "D-Day"
2001 Late Friday Himself Episode #1.19
The Brothers Garcia Pet Store Clerk Episode: "But Football Is a Religion"
2001–16 Mad TV Himself/Cast Member Featured cast (season 7 & 15), main cast (season 8–14)
2004 I Love the '90s Himself 2 episodes
Faking It Himself Episode: "Fireman to Funnyman"
2005 Minding the Store Himself Episodes: "Makeover" & "La Jolla"
The Drop Himself Episode #3.14
Party @ the Palms Chu Episode #1.6
Curb Your Enthusiasm Sung Episode: "The Korean Bookie"
2005–06 Mind of Mencia Asian CSI Agent/Gay Pirate 2 episodes
2006 Icons Himself Episode: "Jamie Kennedy"
Comedy Zen Himself Episode #1.4"
Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness Mr. Lee Young/William Hung (voice) TV movie
2007 American Dad! Danny (voice) Episode: "Bush Comes to Dinner"
2007–14 Chelsea Lately Himself/Round Table Guest Recurring guest
2008 Asian Excellence Awards Himself/Host Main host
2009 Live at Gotham Himself/Host Episode: "Episode #4.2"
Whorified! The Search for America's Next Top Whore Himself Episode: "Reality TV Made Me Do It"
Family Guy Sharply Dressed Asian Man (voice) Episode: "Business Guy"
The League Chu Episode: "The Usual Bet"
2009–19 Laugh Factory Himself Recurring guest
2010 Supreme Court of Comedy Himself Episode: "Tom Arnold vs. Bobby Lee"
Ktown Cowboys Himself Episode: "Episode #1.9"
Cubed Bob Yamamoto Recurring cast (season 1), guest (season 2)
2011 After Lately Himself Episode: "The 'M' Word"
Big Time Rush T.J. Episode: "Big Time Reality"
Family Guy Chinese Man (voice) Episode: "Amish Guy"
2012 Equals Three Himself Episode: "Spelling Bee"
Samurai! Daycare Park Recurring cast
RVC: The Lone Shopping Network Hiri Episode: "Father of My Squids"
2012–13 Animal Practice Dr. Yamamoto Main cast
2013 Who Gets the Last Laugh? Himself Episode: "Bam Margera/Bobby Lee/Matt Besser"
Gotham Comedy Live Himself/Host Episode: "Bobby Lee"
Knife Fight Himself Episode: "Travi vs. Kuramoto"
Internet Shock Quiz Himself Episode: "Bobby Lee's Racist Confession"
JustKiddingFilms Himself Episode: "Don't Bang My Wife" & "Sharing Is Caring"
Arrested Development Mrs. Oh Episode: "Queen B."
Tubbin' with Tash Tiger Belly Episodes: "Chelsea Handler" & "Chelsea Peretti & Reggie Watts"
Sean Saves the World Mr. Kim Episode: "Sean Comes Clean"
2013–14 Kill Tony Himself/Guest Host Episodes: "Kill Tony #9" & "Kill Tony #32"
Deal with It Himself Recurring cast (season 1), guest (season 3)
2013–15 The Awesomes Tim/Sumo (voice) Main cast
2014 TripTank Mongolian/Mongolian Leader/Li Ching (voice) Episode: "The Green" & "Candy Van Finger Bang"
The League Lee Wei Lee Episode: "Epi Sexy"
2014–16 This Is Not Happening Himself Recurring guest
2015 The Comedians Fortune Teller's nephew Episode: "Billy's Birthday"
NCIS: Los Angeles Rio Syamsundin Episode: "Blame It on Rio"
2015-16 Bad Weather Films Himself 2 episodes
2015–19 Nature Cat MC Ferret (voice) Recurring cast (season 1–3)
2016 Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle Himself/Judge Episode: "Road to Roast Battle"
@midnight Himself Episode: "Episode #4.6"
Another Period Sea Captain Episode: "Lillian's Wedding" & "The Duel"
Son of Zorn Jakton Episode: "The War of the Workplace"
2016–18 Love Truman Recurring cast
2017 The Comedy Jam Himself Episode: "Tiffany Haddish/Chris Hardwick/Bobby Lee"
Funny You Should Ask Himself Recurring guest
Comrade Detective New York Degenerate (voice) Episode: "Two Films for One Ticket"
What Would Diplo Do? Brian Main cast
Real Rob Kim Lin Episode: "Best Play Date Ever"
2018 Something’s Burning Himself Episode: "Bobby Lee & Chris D'Elia Make Homemade Pasta w/ Bert Kreischer"
Alone Together Stan Episode: "Pop-Up"
NCIS: Los Angeles Jeff Carol Episode: "Goodbye, Vietnam"
2018–19 Splitting Up Together Arthur Main cast
2019 Family Style Himself Episode: "Sweets"
Beyond the Arc Himself Episode: "Montreal"
2019–23 Magnum P.I. Jin Recurring cast (season 2-4), guest (season 5)
2020 Game On! Himself/Captain Main captain
The Stand-Up Show with Jon Dore Himself Episode: "Episode #1.5"
The Cabin with Bert Kreischer Himself Episode: "Release"
The Comedy Store Himself Main guest
Dream Corp LLC Tricky Ricky Recurring cast (season 3)
2021 Fast Foodies Himself Episode: "Bobby Lee"
Nailed It! Himself/Guest Judge Episode: "Travel Dos and Donuts"
Well Done with Sebastian Maniscalco Himself Episode: "The Macaroniscalco"
Immoral Compass Dylan Episode: "Part 2: Secrets"
2021–22 Reservation Dogs Dr. Kang Guest (season 1), recurring cast (season 2)
Inside Job Dr. Andre (voice) Main cast
2021–23 And Just Like That... Jackie Nee Recurring cast
2022 About Last Night Himself Episode: "Anna Camp/Loni Love/Bobby Lee"
Dark Side of Comedy Himself Episode: "Andrew Dice Clay"
2023 History of the World, Part II Harold Episode: "VI"

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role Notes
2009 "We Made You" Eminem Sulu [10]
2010 "2 Different Tears" Wonder Girls [28]
2011 "Hangover" Taio Cruz Captain
2017 "Dure Dure" Jencarlos [29]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Heckler Himself
2016 Dying Laughing Himself
2017 Funny: The Documentary Himself
2020 Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story Himself


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "MILESTONES: September 17 birthdays for Patrick Mahomes, John Franco, Bobby Lee". Brooklyn Eagle. September 17, 2020. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Grant, Lee (September 17, 2004). "'Mad' man". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Archer, Greg (September 18, 2013). "Bobby Lee On Comedy, Survival And Being 'A Big, Sweaty Ball Of Flesh'". HuffPost. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Yang, Jeff (April 10, 2007). "ASIAN POP / Mad Man". SFGate. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  7. ^ Woo, Michelle (April 2, 2007). "Kickin' It With Bobby Lee". Character Media. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Nguyen, Joe (May 5, 2009). "Face2Face with Bobby Lee". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Bobby Lee at Levity Live". Visit Oxnard. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Rogan, Lee & Redban 2013
  11. ^ Baldwin, Drew (January 30, 2012). "Maker Studios Reboots The Station With Bobby Lee". Tubefilter. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  12. ^ The Grammys (December 2, 2014). "Set List Bonus: Ninth Annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit At Club Nokia". Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Laddin, Stephen (March 3, 2020). "Andrew Santino Is A People Person". High Times. Archived from the original on June 3, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  14. ^ Lee 2017, p. 12:00
  15. ^ Lee 2017, p. 2:03
  16. ^ Lee, Bobby; Kuhn, Khalyla; Galon, Gilbert (November 26, 2015). "The Korean Kite 한국 연". Tigerbelly (Podcast). Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  17. ^ Lee & Griffin 2016, p. 1:17:00
  18. ^ a b c Baldwin, Greg; Kalloniatis, Ant (November 19, 2017). "Bobby Lee is a Provoked Panda". Second Chances Podcast (Podcast). Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  19. ^ Lee 2017, p. 10:45
  20. ^ Schonberger, Chris (October 27, 2016). "Watch Bobby Lee Take on the Hot Ones Challenge". First We Feast. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  21. ^ Kozlowski, Carl (May 26, 2016). "Why Bobby Lee Is Done with 'MADtv'". Hollywood in Toto. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  22. ^ Lee, Diaz & Syatt 2014, p. 9:30
  23. ^ Variety Staff (October 28, 2008). "'Madtv's' Lauren Dombrowski dies". Variety. Archived from the original on March 29, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "Comedian Bobby Lee's father has passed away". August 19, 2019.
  25. ^ Lee, Bobby (December 12, 2019). "Theo Von & The Guillotine | TigerBelly 224". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  26. ^ "David Choe x Money Mark x Steve Lee starts a band". Upper Playground. August 19, 2014. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  27. ^ "Bobby Lee". IMDb. Archived from the original on February 13, 2023. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  28. ^ Adriane (May 24, 2010). "The Wonder Girls: New Music Video, Exclusive Pics, Videos Here at MTV Iggy!"MTV K. Archived from the original on June 04 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  29. ^ "Jencarlos Releases New Single "Dure Dure" with Don Omar". July 28, 2017. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved April 9, 2021.


External links