Ian Patrick Harris
Ian Patrick Harris on the set of his comedy special Critical & Thinking
August 24, 1971|
Santa Cruz, California
Ian Harris (born August 24, 1971) is a comedian, director, and mixed martial arts trainer. He owns a Los Angeles-based MMA training center called "Fight Science", named for the unique fighting style that he created. He integrates skepticism and critical thinking into his comedy.
At age 21 in the year 1992, Ian moved to Los Angeles from Santa Cruz, California, with a friend. There they wrote the script Armaghetto, which they unsuccessfully tried to sell. Shortly after his arrival in Los Angeles he was asked, after an audition, to close the show Annex Sunday Night at the comedy club The Ice House. After that he toured the U.S. performing at comedy shows. He often appeared in the comedy club Punch Line.
In 2000 he moved back to Los Angeles, where he earned a reputation for being brash and irreverent in his comedy. However, in 2006 he stopped doing stand-up comedy and touring, because of his production work and the birth of his daughter in 2005.
In 2011 Harris came back to stand-up comedy, integrating skepticism and critical thinking into his act: "I’m a comedian. That’s what I am at my core." He has made fun of Vaccine controversies, glucose intolerance, politics, religions, and the homeopathic “cold preventer” Airborne. Six months after his comeback, Harris toured with comedians Jason Relser and Maurice Northup, doing a secular comedy show The Evolution of Comedy Tour.
Harris directed a few comedy specials, including one by Dwayne Perkins, which was bought directly by Netflix. On December 21, 2012, he recorded his own comedy special Ian Harris: Critical & Thinking. Harris' second hour TV special "ExtraOrdinary" was released Dec 12, 2017, by Adam Carolla's Chassy Media and is available on video-on-demand platforms. It was produced with Netflix in mind, but due to policy changes in the company’s comedy division they did not pick it up. It was recorded in 2016 at the Rio Theatre in his home town of Santa Cruz (California).
Harris has performed his comedy act at several atheist and skeptical events:
- 2017 American Atheists National Conference
- 2012 Ascent of Atheism Convention in Denver
- 2013 American Humanist Association National Convention in San Diego
- 2013 CFI Summit in Tacoma, Washington
In the Summer of 2017, Harris was added as a part-time co-host of Dogma Debate podcast with David Smalley.
Like comedian Bill Maher before him, he enjoys going to socially conservative areas in the united States. “There’s 10-20% that are starving for anything. They’re constantly surrounded by Jesus, nativity scenes, the right-wing propaganda is in full effect, it’s like Fox News year-round. So when he (Maher) goes into town, those 10%, they all buy a ticket. While you go to LA, with 13 million people just like you, they don’t give a shit.”
|“||There’s 10-20% that are starving for anything. They’re constantly surrounded by Jesus, nativity scenes.||”|
|— Ian Harris, quoting Bill Maher, Sensibly Speaking podcast|
In the year 2001 he was on the Top 100 Comedians list of the Entertainment Business Journal, and he was a semi-finalist in Comedy Central's Laugh Riots Competition. Backstage West called him Top Character Comedian in Town, and he was a finalist in the San Francisco Comedy Competition.
Comedy awards and events:
- 1995 Finalist Cal State Chico Comedy Competition
- 1998 Finalist UCSF Comedy Competition
- 2000 Finalist San Francisco International Comedy Competition
- 2001 Semi-finalist Comedy Central Laugh Riots Competition
- 2013 Ventura Comedy Festival
After some years of comedy, Ian wrote and directed his first movie It Burns When I Laugh which won Best Feature Film at the Seattle Underground Film Festival. This film was presented in festivals, where it had a moderate success, then it was distributed on home video. Ian directed some other movies, short movies and music videos, and in 2013, he began to direct comedy specials for other fellow comedians.
In 2003 Ian began performing voice-overs in a commercial for Universal Orlando Resorts that aired on the Super Bowl of the same year. Since then he has performed voice-over for commercials, television shows, network promos, video games and animation. Clients have included DirecTV, Lays Potato Chips, Full Tilt Poker, Round Table Pizza and the networks Disney XD, Bravo and Fuel. Ian was the narrator for Fuse's Mad Genius, Pepsi/Twitter Live for Now and Scripps Top 3 of Everything. He also does some voice over on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Ian began boxing at age six. He wrestled for two and a half years and trained Kenpo Karate, Wing Chun and Japanese Jujutsu for nine years. He also trained from 1992 to 2005 with Richard Bustillo, a Bruce Lee student. With him, Ian trained Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai. In 1996 he also began to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Claudio Franca. He began training other fighters in 2003. Ian has been featured in Tapout Magazine and Grappling Magazine teaching techniques and was showcased in the book MMA Lessons, a collection of the best MMA techniques from Tapout Magazine. Ian coined his MMA fighting style Fight Science.. In August 2017, Ian, along with three of his former students, opened an MMA training center in Los Angeles. They named it "Fight Science," after the style Ian created.
Film Awards and Accolades:
- Official Selection, 2007 Newport Beach Film Festival
- Official Selection, 2007 Del Rey Beach Film Festival
- Best Short Nominee, 2007 Swansea Bay Film Festival
- Official Selection, 2006 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
- Best Feature Film, Seattle Underground Film Festival
- Best Director, 2005 48 Hour Film Project, Los Angeles
- Best Use of Genre: 2005 48 Hour Film Project, Los Angeles
- Official Selection, 2005 Dances with Films Film Festival
- Official Selection, 2005 Best of LA Shorts Festival
- Audience Choice, 2004 48 Hour Film Project, Los Angeles
- Best Music, 2004 48 Hour Film Project, Los Angeles
- Finalist, 2003 Fade-In Magazine Short Film Awards
- Best Film, 2003 Zephyr Short Film Festival, Los Angeles
- Audience Choice Award, 2002 Colfax Film Festival
- Official Selection, 2003 Cal State Fullerton Call to Arts Festival
- "Dwayne Perkins: Take Note" (2016) hour comedy special
- "Ty Barnett: Issues" (2013) hour comedy special
- "Bryan Kellen: Ballet Komedico" (2013) Hour Comedy Special
- “Pashittu” Short Film (2006)
- “The Cult” Television Pilot (2006)
- “Booking Tacoma” Feature Film (2004)
- “It Burns When I Laugh” Feature Film (2003)
- “Silver Patriot: The Final Chapter” Short Film (2005)
- “The Paul Decca Story” Short Film (2004)
- “Ring Tone Blues” Short Film (2004)
- “Dual” Short Film (2002)
- “A.P.U. Art, Pot & Underwear” Short Film (2003)
- “Darkest Days” Good Riddance, 2006 Fat Wreck Chords
- “Smoother than You” Danny Hamilton, 2005 Koala Records
- “Dance of Shiva” OUTLIE, 2004 Porterhouse Records
- “You Burn Me Up” The Haywoods, 2000 Wormtone Records
Ian was born and grew up in Santa Cruz, California, USA. He attended San Lorenzo Valley High School. He was interested in stand-up comedy, writing short stories, boxing, martial arts and surfing.
“I grew up in the 80s (…) in Santa Cruz, in this kind of hippie counter-culture, with punk rock, which was huge in the Bay area back in the 80s. (…) I’ve been an atheist my own life. My act is kind of punk rocky.” As a consequence, he tends to attract crowds of a certain age, the same older, white, educated people he meets at secularism conventions. “These are the college professors, not the students. They’re the ones who know who I am and who appreciate what I do. It’s very funny to me that this is the crowd. It’s a hip crowd though!”
|“||I’ve been an atheist my own life. My act is kind of punk rocky.||”|
|— Ian Harris, Sensibly Speaking podcast|
Harris believes people within the secular movement should respect the range of political opinions of its members. “We’re so splintered. Atheism is not a belief, it’s just a lack of belief in God. Everybody gets to atheism in a different way. (…) This guy might be kind of conservative, he may be a “lower taxes” guy. (…) It doesn’t mean that he’s not an atheist. (we're always straw-manning people in their own community, because they're easy targets. (…) But all they're doing is splintering their own community.”
He lives with his wife Jeaninne and their daughter Bella in Los Angeles, California, USA.
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