Deon Cole

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Deon Cole
Deon Cole 2016.png
Cole in 2016
Born (1972-01-09) January 9, 1972 (age 51)
EducationThornridge High School
Alma materPhilander Smith College
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • screenwriter
Years active1993–present

Deon Anthony Cole (born January 9, 1972[citation needed]) is an American comedian, actor, and screenwriter. He is best known for his role in the sitcom Black-ish (2014–2022), which earned him nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. On June 25, 2020, he became the second panelist to win the Dorris Award on the ABC version of To Tell the Truth.

Cole was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for co-writing the late-night talk shows The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and Conan; for the latter, he was also nominated for three Writers Guild of America Awards.

Early life[edit]

Cole was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 9, 1972. He was educated in Thornridge High School and received an acting degree from Philander Smith College.


Born in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago,[1] Cole started in comedy when a friend bet him $50 that he would not get up on stage one night in Chicago.[2]

Cole was on the writing staff for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien from 2009 to 2010,[1][3] and he worked as a writer for Conan from 2010 to 2012.[4] He has appeared frequently in comedic bits for both broadcasts, and he has, along with the rest of the staff, received two Primetime Emmy nominations. Cole also performed on Conan O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" in 2010.[5]

In February 2010, Cole performed on "Comic Aid Haiti", a comedy performance that benefited victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[6]

Cole was on the cast of Angie Tribeca from 2016 to 2018. Cole is part of a television ad campaign for Old Spice body wash, alongside actress/comedian Gabrielle Dennis.

Cole has a recurring role on the ABC sitcom Black-ish as Charlie Telphy. Cole was promoted to a main role beginning with season 4. He then made some appearances in the Black-ish's spin-off Grown-ish.

Cole has performed stand up on other programs such as John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show, Mash Up and Lopez Tonight. Cole created his own production company, Coled Blooded, to produce the sketch comedy show Deon Cole's Black Box.[7] It premiered on June 10, 2013, on TBS, but it was canceled on October 25, 2013.[8] Cole hosted the game show Face Value on BET in 2017.

In 2017, he performed in a half-hour set in the Netflix original series The Standups.

In October 2019, Netflix released a stand-up special called Deon Cole: Cole Hearted.[9]

On June 25, 2020, Cole appeared on To Tell the Truth and won the Doris Award, becoming the second panelist to do so.

Personal life[edit]

Cole has one son.[10]

An only child, Deon was raised by his mother Charleen, who died in 2021. He dedicated his 2022 Netflix comedy special to her, Deon Cole: Charleen’s Boy, which was filmed on the first anniversary of her death.



Cole performing in 2011
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Barbershop Dante
2003 A Lover for My Husband Cab Driver
2004 Barbershop 2: Back in Business Dante
2005 The Evil One Dejuan Direct-to-video film
A Get2Gether Jesse
2016 Barbershop: The Next Cut Dante
2017 The Female Brain Steven
2019 Holiday Rush Marshall Stone
2020 2 Minutes of Fame Nico
Friendsgiving Dan
2021 I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) Chad
Welcome Matt Norman
The Harder They Fall Wiley Escoe
2023 You People Not yet released Demetrius Completed
The Color Purple Not yet released Alfonso Filming
TBA Action #1 Not yet released Nick Cage Completed
TBA HeadShop Not yet released Davis Post-production
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Comic Justice Himself TV series
2002 Urban Entertainment Buzz Himself Episode #1.2
The World Stands Up Himself TV series
2006 Def Comedy Jam Himself Episode #7.10
2007 Comedy Central Presents Himself Episode: "Deon Cole"
Wild 'n Out Himself Main role (season 4)
Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz The Negotiator Sketch Episode: Pilot
2008 The Funny Spot Himself Episode #1.1
2009 The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien Various 4 episodes
2010–2012 Conan Various Recurring role, 35 episodes
2011 The League Mugger Episode: "The Light of Genesis"
Mash Up N\A TV movie
2013 Deon Cole's Black Box Himself Host
2014 Benched Diamond Episode: "Diamond is a Girl's Worst Friend"
Funny Business Malcolm TV movie
2014–2022 Black-ish Charlie Telphy Recurring role (seasons 1–3); main role (seasons 4–8)
2016–2018 Angie Tribeca Det. Daniel "DJ" Tanner Main role
2017 The Standups Himself
2017 Face Value Himself
2018–present Grown-ish Charlie Telphy Main role (seasons 1–2); recurring role (season 3–present)
2018 All About the Washingtons Darnell Bell Episode: "You Gots the Chills"
2020 Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Dave Main voice role
2021 South Side Malachi Washington-Carter Guest role


  1. ^ a b Kyles, Kyra (November 12, 2009). "Comic Heroes: Chicago comics breaking into the spotlight on their own terms". Chicago Tribune. p. 30.
  2. ^ Socci, Blair (June 13, 2013). "Talking to Deon Cole About Standup, 'Conan,' and His New TBS Show 'Black Box' Archived July 12, 2017, at the Wayback Machine". Split Sider. The Awl. retrieved July 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "How much longer can Conan stay at NBC?" Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba). January 14, 2010. p. D2.
  4. ^ Craft, Dan (September 4, 2014). "Cole mining: Deon digs for comedy's mother lode". TCA Regional News. (Chicago).
  5. ^ Brown, K Williams (April 13, 2010). "One woman's tale of Conan O'Brien's comedy tour kick-off". Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon).
  6. ^ "Comic Aide for Haiti". Los Angeles Sentinel. February 25, 2010. p. B7.
  7. ^ Ho, Rodney (May 16, 2013). "TBS/TNT to stream shows for subscribers". McClatchy-Tribune.
  8. ^ "Deon Cole comes home for 'Black Code' comedy". Chicago Tribune. November 22, 2013. p. 3.
  9. ^ "Watch Deon Cole: Cole Hearted | Netflix Official Site". Netflix.
  10. ^ Cole, Deon [@deoncole] (September 15, 2015). "Happy birthday 2 the love of my life! My son Dylan! Thanks 4 putting up w/ me and my work! Its all 4 u! Love u 4ever!..." (Tweet). Retrieved October 7, 2019 – via Twitter.

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