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Jim David is an American stand-up comedian, actor and writer. He is originally from Asheville, North Carolina, and lives in New York City. He performs stand-up comedy at comedy clubs and other venues worldwide.
Growing up in North Carolina, David played Phyllis Diller and Jonathan Winters records until they were ruined and voraciously read Mad Magazine, even creating his own comedy magazine entitled "Icky". He made his stage debut at age 9 as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, and by college had appeared in over 50 plays.
After attending Furman University and Southern Methodist University, he moved to New York, appeared in several Off-Broadway and Regional theater productions, and did commercials and voice-overs. His New York City theater career led him to remark, "I came to New York to be in the theater, but the theater said, 'we don't see you as an actor, we see you as an usher.'" However, he did appear on Broadway in the musical The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public in 1994, directed by Tommy Tune and Peter Masterson. The show was not a success, but in a 1994 article in Theater Week magazine entitled "Trip To The Whorehouse - A Survivor's Tale," David recounted his experience in the show as a happy one.
He became a director and directed plays (among them Candide, The Skin of Our Teeth, Waiting for Godot, Dark of the Moon, Noises Off, Jesus Christ Superstar and Molière's The Learned Ladies) and taught theater in high schools and community theaters. In 1986, he became a stand-up comedian full-time.
David's comedy, a free-form conversational style featuring characters, stories, one-liners and social comment, has been seen at many venues worldwide. He has performed at many comedy festivals including Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and the TBS Comedy Festival in Las Vegas. He was featured as one of the stars of Laughing Liberally, a political comedy show that made its debut at New York's Town Hall in 2006 and played numerous engagements Off-Broadway and around the country.
His one-man comedy for the theater, "South Pathetic", in which he plays himself and 10 characters, details the worst community theater in the South in a production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. It was performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, as well in New York and other regional theaters, including the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival and San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre, where it received rave reviews and was a popular success. It was performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in Manhattan, where it sold out its entire run and was favorably reviewed by The New York Times and other media.
In 2012 he released his first novel, "You'll Be Swell" (Trumbull Press), a comic novel about a struggling actress, available on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble.
He has appeared on many television comedy shows, most notably Comedy Central Presents Jim David where he became the first openly gay man to have his own special on the network, and a two-year stint on Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. The show featured many of the performers he worked with at the Greenwich Village club Comedy Cellar and was based on the freewheeling political arguments they had at the "comedian's table" at the Olive Tree Cafe, the restaurant above the club. Often featuring as much of the comedians "roasting" each other as discussions of current events, the show was cancelled in November 2004 despite a large cult following.
David also appeared on many television shows as a comedian or commentator, among them Gotham Comedy Live, Comedy Central's Out On the Edge, Comic Cabana, USO Comedy Tour, Comic Remix and Friars' Club Roast of Rob Reiner, Bravo's Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and Greatest Things About Being..., ABC's The View, A&E's Caroline's Comedy Hour and An Evening at the Improv, Current TV's "Viewpoint" and HLN's The Joy Behar Show.
David occasionally blogs for The Huffington Post and Edge On The Net. He also broadcasts a podcast of interviews with notable figures in theater, media and comedy, Jim David's Icons, http://comicjimdavid.podomatic.com.
- Eat Here And Get Gas, CD, 2000, rereleased by Stand Up! Records, 2007
- Live From Jimville, CD, 2003, rereleased by Stand Up! Records, 2008
- Notorious F.A.G., CD, released by Stand Up! Records, 2010
- Hard to Swallow, CD, released by Stand Up! Records, 2015
- Webster, Andy (17 August 2010). "A One-Man Show Rich With Southern Flavor, and Humidity". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2011.