Felonious Munk

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Felonious Munk
Birth nameArif Negassi
Born (1972-08-04) August 4, 1972 (age 47)
  • Stand up
  • sketch comedy
Lontier Hicks (m. 2015)

Dennis Banks (born August 4, 1972)[1] better known by his stage name Felonious Munk is an Ethiopian-American comedian, writer, actor, playwright, and social commentator. He has worked as a frequent contributor on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore[2] and is the creator of a YouTube series Stop It B.[3]

Early career[edit]

After leaving a job as a finance director for a new car dealership,[4] Munk pursued stand up comedy. Shortly after, he began a web series Stop It B. The series eventually gained attention in the political world for Munk's socio-political commentary. Following several appearances on Fox Business News' Imus in the Morning in 2011,[5] Munk was hired by WPIX in New York to provide commentary for their 5pm news broadcast, anchored by Jodi Applegate.[6] He was also a regular in the comedy clubs in the city, headlining Gotham in 2012/13[7][8] and making appearances on podcasts like Robert Kelly's You Know What Dude! podcast among others.

Chicago years[edit]

In 2012, former Tribune Company chief innovation officer Lee Abrams founded TouchVision a news media organization targeting millennials and hired Munk to provide the type of biting, edgy, and funny commentary he'd previously provided for WPIX. From 2013–2016 Munk and Touchvision provided Chicago and Touchvision's syndicated audience with Emmy worthy[9] commentary. While in Chicago, Munk has been an integral part in creating and growing the groundbreaking Afrofuturism [10][11] show in concert with the legendary sketch and improv theater The Second City. That show evolved into a new show "Black Side of the Moon" which debuted in Washington, DC. In its 7 week run, it became the best selling[12] show in Woolly Mammoth Theater history. During the run of the show, Munk debuted his impression of President Obama, with The Washington Post's reviewer calling it "measured and spot-on."[13] He has also appeared as part of the Chicago-based Simmer Brown collective of South Asian comedians.[14]


While still living in New York, Munk was in the midst of the Trayvon Martin protests. His experiences began to influence his commentary as he became more outspoken about social issues as opposed to his previous focus on governmental politics. In August 2014, he traveled from Chicago to Ferguson, MO.[15] after Johnetta Elzie reached out to him via Twitter regarding the shooting of Mike Brown. Ferguson had a profound effect on his comedy and his commentary and he began speaking at colleges about what he learned.[16]

Personal life[edit]

On July 18, 2015 he married Lontier Hicks, a former accountant from Oak Park, IL. They live in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. He has one daughter from a previous marriage. On August 12, 2016 he and his wife welcomed their first son.


  1. ^ Nordlinger, Jay (October 11, 2011). "A Comedian Rises". National Review.
  2. ^ "Felonious Munk". imdb.com. IMDB.https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7904378/
  3. ^ Seidl, Jonathon (August 11, 2011). "This is Comedian Felonious Munk's Wild Anti-Obama Rant". The Blaze.
  4. ^ McDonald, Sam. "Felonious Munk's comedy bounces from right to left". dailypress.com. Daily Press.http://articles.dailypress.com/2012-02-25/entertainment/dp-fea-felonious-munk-0226-20120225_1_fox-business-don-imus-glenn-beck/2
  5. ^ http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1327285512001/
  6. ^ Banks, Dennis. "First Day at WPIX". Tumblr.com. Tumblr.http://felonious-munk.tumblr.com/post/66517966306/1st-day-wpix-with-jodi-applegate
  7. ^ Gotham. "You Can't Be Serious". Gotham Comedy Club. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Gotham. "You Can't Be Serious Returns". Gotham Comedy Club. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  9. ^ NATAS, Midwest. "Midwest Emmy 2014" (PDF). 2014 Midwest Emmy Nominations. NATAS.http://chicagoemmyonline.org/files/2015/05/2014-Emmy-Nominations-List.pdf
  10. ^ Huang, May. "Second City's Afro-Futurism Delivers Comedy With a Conscience". The Chicago Maroon. University of Chicago.http://chicagomaroon.com/2016/02/29/second-citys-afro-futurism-delivers-comedy-with-a-conscience/
  11. ^ Adler, Tony. "Afro-futurism". Chicago Reader. Sun-Times Media.http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/afro-futurism/Event?oid=21488596
  12. ^ "Weekend Picks: 12 Things To Do In And Around D.C." DCist. Archived from the original on May 1, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Pressley, Nelson (December 15, 2016). "DC Theater Friday: Fiasco's 'Into the Woods' warms up KenCen". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "Simmer Brown comedy troupe diversifies the spotlight". Chicago Sun-Times. August 22, 2016. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2017.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  15. ^ Glawe, Justin. "After A Night of Relative Calm, Have The Ferguson Police Made Things Worse Again?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Garcia, Nick. "We Want the Munk". The Lumberjack. Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

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