Scott Martin Brooks
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|Scott Martin Brooks|
Scott Martin Brooks in 2004
|Born||Scott Martin Brooks
April 6, 1972
Brooks was born Scott Martin Brooks on April 6, 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was adopted at birth. Brooks has described himself on his old MySpace page as "a poor black child from the mean streets of West Philly...the REAL West Philly, not that suburb Fresh Prince was from." Brooks' father died when he was 12, he was then raised by his mother and two older sisters. In June 2008, his mother also died. Growing up, Brooks studied classical piano from age 5 to 15, performing in many recitals, was heavily involved in his local church, and throughout his teens he was a competitive swimmer, ran track, and lettered in JV baseball. From ages 11 to 18 he acted in many plays for a neighborhood theater group, and when he was 19 he studied acting at the John Barth acting studios in Philadelphia.
Brooks received several academic awards during high school (Art, English, History), and after graduation, he attended college as a business management major. But after one year he left school, and he and his best friend borrowed money from their parents and opened their own business - a popular neighborhood video rental store. After 4 years and 2 stores, Brooks and his partner sold the business. It was soon after this that he took his first job as a bouncer at a local "gentleman's club", which turned into a ten-year career as a well-known doorman/head of security in the Philadelphia bar/nightclub scene. Also during this time, along with several co-workers, Brooks became a partner in an infamous underground, after-hours nightclub.
While Brooks was working in the nightclub scene, his childhood friend Charles Stone was becoming famous as a director of music videos. Starting back when they were in high school, Stone would often cast Brooks in his art projects, short films and music videos. In 1998, Stone came up with the original "Whassup" concept; a three-minute film entitled True. When he decided to make the film, Stone told Brooks, "It’s based on us, and something we used to do back in the day."
"True" was a huge hit on the independent film festival circuit, which led to it becoming a popular "party tape"...it was being dubbed and bootleg copies were being passed around all across the country. One such bootleg was shown to Vinny Warren, an ad exec at the DDB-Needham advertising agency. Budweiser was a client of DDB, so, Vinny approached August Busch IV, CEO of Anheuser-Busch, and sold him on the idea of turning True into a series of TV commercials.
When production began on the commercials, Stone called Brooks and urged him to come to New York and audition. He had never acted professionally before, and this was his first audition. After a week of auditions, and 3 call-backs, Brooks beat out 250 other actors, and was given the title role of "Dookie." The commercials were shot over 3 days in New York City in November 1999. For a short while, Brooks continued to work as a bouncer even after the commercials debuted, unaware of how his life was about to change.
Brooks shot to celebrity overnight thanks to the success of the "Whassup" commercials. The campaign ran for over two-years, with 12 commercials. The specific popularity of Brooks' character "Dookie" prompted Anheuser-Busch to create several commercials based around his solo adventures.
The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Vibe, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, People and Forbes, as well as many other magazines and newspapers across the country, all featured articles about the sensation surrounding the commercials. Brooks has also been interviewed or featured on many national & local television & radio shows, including: The Tonight Show, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, The Howard Stern Show, WWF Raw, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, Talk Soup, E! News Daily, VH1's The 25 Greatest, CBS's Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials, TNN's Fame for 15', The 2000 Source Awards, the A&E documentary America's Favorite TV Commercials, and the BBC's television special Best Ads Ever.
The commercials were nominated for an Emmy, won the 2000 Grand Clio Award for Best Campaign and Best Commercial, and "Wasabi" (one of Brooks' solo spots) won the 2000 Cannes Film Festival Golden Lion Award for Best Commercial in the world. Brooks also won a Best Actor Award from the Black Emmy Association.
After the initial success of the commercials, the "Whassup Guys" signed a development deal with Paramount Television to create and star in a new television series, and became the hosts of ABC's prime time series Best Commercials You’ve Never Seen. Later, Brooks went on to become the solo host of the Best Commercials... series and landed a development deal with Banyan Productions, with 2 pilots in consideration by major networks.
In January 2002, Scott called into the Howard Stern show to say that although he was making up to $5000 a night doing appearances at bars, he wanted to do something else before he was only ever known as "The Wassup Guy". Howard told him he should have just kept milking it for years until there was no more money coming in, but Scott insisted that he was finished with doing "Wassup Guy" appearances.
Brooks continues to pursue his acting career, landing several TV and feature film roles, including; UPN's The Parkers, CBS's Hack, Fox's Jonny Zero, New Line Cinema's Dumb and Dumberer and Disney's Mr. 3000, as well as continuing his commercial career. Brooks added another popular catchphrase to his resume when he was featured in one of Dr. Scholl's "Are You Gellin'?" commercials. And in 2004, Brooks became the voice of Church's Chicken in their television and radio ads.
- Scott's MySpace Page
- Scott Martin Brooks at the Internet Movie Database
- The Inspiration Room | Daily Write-up on the Whassup Advertising Campaign
- BBC News Article "Whassup? boys strike TV deal"