Donald G. Reed

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Donald G. Reed
Born (1959-11-23) November 23, 1959 (age 57), Oakland, California, United States,
Occupation comedian, television actor and writer
Years active 1980–present

Donald Gene Reed (born November 23, 1959),[1] often referred to as Don Reed, is an American actor, writer, producer, director and comedian.

Early life[edit]

Reed grew up in Oakland, California and attended Fremont High School. Additionally he attended Chabot Junior College in Hayward, California before being recruited to UCLA for intercollegiate Speech & Debate competition where he became a National Champion in competitive events: Speech to Entertain, Poetry and Dramatic readings.[2]

Television career: 1987–present[edit]

In the summer of 1987, Don Reed was performing stand-up comedy at NACA and impressed Bill Cosby. Cosby signed Reed for two episodes, with Reed making his television debut on The Cosby Show's television spin-off, A Different World, on which he played "Chip St. Charles", whom Denise Huxtable had a crush on; he left the show in 1989.[3][4][5]

After A Different World, Reed was cast as "Fingers" in a film called Dance to Win, which was released on December 1, 1989, in the United States. Reed also appeared on the HBO television program Dream On in 1990, then he appeared on Robert Townsend's ventures: an HBO television special Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime (1991) and The Meteor Man (1993) as a drug worker.

Reed was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards: one for Dream On, The Cosby Show and Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime in 1989.

Reed was the promotion executive at NBC, for two years, and then he did voice-work for cartoons such as Disney's Gargoyles, Spider-Man and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.

Reed's movie credits include: Fear of a Black Hat and Once Upon a Forest. Reed also joined the cast of The Rerun Show, a series that was canceled after six test-run episodes. His impressions included Sherman Hemsley, Todd Bridges, Chris Rock, among others.

In 2008, he debuted a solo autobiographical show titled East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player. In fall 2009, he became the warm-up comic for The Jay Leno Show.[1] He is the first African American warm-up comedian for a major late night show – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – and has performed stand-up to warm up the studio audience for over 1,000 episodes.


  1. ^ a b 'East 14th' writer could go back home again, Sfgate (February 18, 2010) (confirming age and birthdate: "I am now 50, as of Nov. 23")
  2. ^ Don Reed Tells Life Tale In 'East 14th', NPR, August 12, 2008
  3. ^ 'East 14th' to play New World Stage, Variety, June 23, 2008 (" Reed, who played Chip St. Charles on NBC's "A Different World,"")
  5. ^ Reed clings to clean side of clowning, Colorado Springs Gazette, March 29, 1991

Don Reed's "Can You Dig It? Back to the 60's "Flat-out hilarious! KQED - PBS-NPR Jul 23, 2013

Don Reed goes home hilariously - July 25, 2013 SF EXAMINER

Don Reed a gem of a storyteller - StarkInsider - July 23, 2013

Easy to Dig - Don Reed's Can You Dig It? SF CHRONICLE - August 6, 2013

External links[edit]