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Jonah Ray

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Jonah Ray
Ray at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2019
Jonah Ray Rodrigues

(1982-08-03) August 3, 1982 (age 41)
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian, writer
Years active2004–present
SpouseDeanna Rooney (m. 2013)

Jonah Ray Rodrigues (born August 3, 1982) is an American actor, comedian and writer from Los Angeles. He stars as Jonah Heston, one of the primary hosts of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He is a former host of The Nerdist Podcast and was the co-host of Comedy Central's The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.

Early life[edit]

Originally from Kailua, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Ray played in local Hawaii rock/punk bands and later moved to Los Angeles. Once there he first pursued opportunities in punk rock, but later started to focus on writing and performing comedy.



Ray started his TV career as a writer's assistant for The Andy Milonakis Show, as well as working as a writer and performer on Showtime's sketch comedy pilot The Offensive Show. He is also a frequent sketch and stand-up performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles and has made appearances on programs such as Saul of the Molemen, Crossballs, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Jimmy Kimmel Live![1] He also hosted "Joe Genius", an online program about humor and homegrown science, on Revision3.[2] Previously, he worked as a writer and occasional voice actor on Current TV's program SuperNews!. He previously wrote for Web Soup on the G4 network, and then The Soup on E!. He left The Soup in 2012.

The Meltdown and Nerdist[edit]

Ray co-hosted a weekly comedy show called The Meltdown with Kumail Nanjiani, produced by Nanjiani's wife, Emily V. Gordon, at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.[3] In late June 2013 Comedy Central announced a television production of the show titled The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which debuted in July 2014.[4] The show ended after three seasons in 2016.

Ray was one of Chris Hardwick's co-hosts of The Nerdist Podcast and television show. In February 2011, Ray revealed on an episode of the podcast that "Jonah's Arcade", a video gaming-comedy pilot he created and stars in, was not picked up by Comedy Central.[5] The pilot was later released on YouTube, produced by the same producers of Web Soup.

Jonah Raydio: The Podcast[edit]

In October 2012, Ray began hosting his own podcast Jonah Raydio featuring guests from various independent music scenes. Regular contributors and guests on the show include Man Man, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Pup, and Har Mar Superstar.

On a 2014 episode of his podcast, Ray announced the launch of his own record label through ATS, Literally Figurative Records, a comedy/music label aimed to feature "a comic on one side and band they are friends with on the other."

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit]

On November 16, 2015, Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson announced plans for Ray to host the series' upcoming continuation.[6] The series was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and was released internationally by Netflix on April 14, 2017. Ray plays the character Jonah Heston for seasons 11 and 12. In April and May 2021, Joel Hodgson ran a second successful Kickstarter to produce season 13, in which Ray returned as Jonah Heston.[7]


Ray recorded a seven-inch record of his stand-up comedy for Aspecialthing Records entitled This is Crazy Mixed-up Plumbing, released in 2006. He followed this up with his second release entitled Hello, Mr. Magic Plane Person, Hello on May 15, 2012, which received mixed reviews.[8]

Ray had several videos from South by Southwest on comedy website Super Deluxe as well as his own web-series called The Freeloaders Guide to Easy Living with Jonah Ray.


Personal life[edit]

Ray married his wife, Deanna Rooney, on April 27, 2013.[10][11]


  1. ^ Bio at Jokes.com Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Joe Genius Archived July 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Home – #THEMELTDOWN with Jonah and Kumail". Nerdmeltla.com. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  4. ^ "Comedy Central Greenlights 'The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail'". TV By The Numbers. 2013-06-20. Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  5. ^ "Podcast #64: BURGER SALAD". Nerdist. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  6. ^ "Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 by Joel Hodgson". Kickstarter. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  7. ^ Hodgson, Joel. "Let's Make More MST3K & Build The Gizmoplex!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Saying "Hello, Mr. Magic Plane Person, Hello" with Jonah Ray". Nerdist.com. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  9. ^ Steve Bryant (April 28, 2008). "Review: Jonah Ray on SuperDeluxe". Reep Pop. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  10. ^ "Thanks for 10 years of marriage, as well as 13 years of letting me make dumb little videos of you and our weird adventures @deannarooney! Happy anniversary, Deanna! Here's to AT LEAST 10 more!". instagram.com.
  11. ^ "So I married an ASS murderer! I love you @deannarooney!!!". instagram.com.

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