Wyatt Cenac

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Wyatt Cenac
Wyatt Cenac Earth launch Shankbone.jpg
Cenac in 2010 at the launch of
Earth (The Book)
Born (1976-04-19) April 19, 1976 (age 40)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor comedian, writer
Years active 1995–present
Website wyattcenac.com

Wyatt Cenac (/ˈw.ət sˈnæk/; born April 19, 1976) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer.[1] He is a former correspondent and writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, airing his last segment on December 13, 2012.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cenac was born in New York on April 19, 1974. He is of Grenadian descent and according to the results of a DNA test, revealed in a 2014 YouTube video uploaded by Okayplayer, Cenac's maternal ancestry can be traced to the Yoruba people of Nigeria.[3] His paternal ancestry can be traced back to his great-great-great-grandfather, Cherebin Cenac, who was born in France and lived in or near the city of Agen. Cherebin was an officer on a French battleship during the Napoleonic wars. After the war ended, Cherebin settled in Soufrière, Saint Lucia, where he acquired some estates and fell in love with an African woman with whom he had children. The youngest, Francis, was Wyatt Cenac's great-great-grandfather. Francis Cenac (1830-1892) emigrated to Grenada, where he married Mary Emilia McVean, the daughter of Mary Budd, by whom he had four children. The youngest, William Emanual Cenac (14 February 1880-13 October 1974), was Wyatt Cenac's great-grandfather. William married Isabella Fletcher (30 May 1885-1983) on 15 July 1909 and had seven children. The first child, Francis Alphonso Cenac (19 December 1909-1 May 2010), was Wyatt Cenac's paternal grandfather.

Wyatt Cenac is a nephew of the Hon. Mr. Justice Dunbar Cenac, Registry of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and a cousin of Bernard Coard, former deputy prime minister of Grenada who was imprisoned for 25 years following the American invasion of Grenada in October 1983. Cenac's father, also named Wyatt Cenac, was a New York City cab driver who was born in Saint Mark Parish, Grenada in 1944. He was shot and killed in his cab when Cenac was 4, when Cenac moved with his mother and stepfather to Dallas, Texas.[4] Growing up, he frequently visited his maternal grandmother and spent summers with her in Crown Heights.[5] However, Cenac has had no contact and has no communication or involvement with his paternal family side. He attended high school in Texas at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.[6] While in elementary school, he became friends with comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan,[7] who also introduced him to comic books. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [8] before moving to Los Angeles to further his career. As of October 2014, Cenac lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.[9]

Career[edit]

Cenac at Pitchfork Music Festival, 2010

Having previously worked for three years as a writer on King of the Hill, Cenac garnered public attention in a The Doomed Planet comedy sketch in which he did an impression of then-senator Barack Obama, discussing possible campaign posters.[10]

In June 2008, Cenac was hired as a correspondent and writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. After making several comedic appearances along with other correspondents, Cenac filed his first field report on July 21, 2008, concerning Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.[11] He continued to integrate satirical Black-oriented material in his Daily Show segments, including "Rapper or Republican"[12] until his final Daily Show appearance on December 13, 2012. In a July 2015 appearance on WTF with Marc Maron, Cenac revealed that his departure from The Daily Show stemmed in part from a heated argument he had with Jon Stewart over a June 2011 Daily Show bit about Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain.[13][14] Despite this, Wyatt appeared on Stewart's final episode of Daily Show; both agreed that they're "good", a reference to the podcast.[15]

In October 2009, he worked with rapper Slim Thug on the music video "Still a Boss", a parody of how the recession is affecting the rap community. Cenac costarred in Medicine for Melancholy, an independent drama by Barry Jenkins released in 2008 that includes issues of African American identity and gentrification in San Francisco.[16][17]

Cenac plays the voice of Lenny and Michael Johnson in the Nickelodeon animated series Fanboy and Chum Chum.[18]

Cenac guest-starred on the MC Frontalot album Solved. Cenac's first hour-long comedy special, Comedy Person, premiered May 14, 2011, on Comedy Central.[citation needed]

In October 2014, Netflix released Cenac's second comedy special, "Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn".[19] In 2014, he guest-starred in an episode of the Netflix series BoJack Horseman. The following year, he appeared in a filmed segment with fellow comedians Rachel Feinstein and Alex Karpovsky on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.[20]

Cenac's film roles include parts in Sleepwalk with Me and Hits, as well as a lead role in 2016's Jacqueline Argentine.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Grounds Zero Bad Tipper Short film
2006 The Great Sketch Experiment Prisoner Sketch: "So You Want to Be a Cop"
2008 Medicine for Melancholy Micah
2008 Dating Catwoman Catwoman's Boyfriend Short film
2012 Sleepwalk with Me Chris
2014 Hits Babatunde
2014 Growing Up And Other Lies Gunderson
2016 Jacqueline Argentine Director
2016 Fits and Starts David In post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004–2008 King of the Hill Guard/Cameraman/Dr. Stephens/Football Announcer/Tough-Looking Guy Wrote two episodes
2007 Yacht Rock James Ingram Episode: "Footloose"
2008–2015 The Daily Show Himself/Various Wrote 570 episodes
2009–2015 Fanboy & Chum Chum Lenny/Various 24 episodes
2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear TV special; writer
2011 Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person Himself Stand-up special; also writer, executive producer
2013 The Venture Bros. Tommy/Mr. Blunder Episode: "What Color Is Your Cleansuit?"
2014 TripTank Bin Laden/Dick
2014 Maron Himself Episode: "Boomer Lives"
2014 Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn Himself Stand-up special; also writer, director, executive producer
2014 BoJack Horseman Wayne (voice) Two episodes
2015 Inside Amy Schumer Guy Friend #1 Episode: "I'm Sorry"
2016 People of Earth Wyatt Jones 10 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comedy Central Wins Three Big Primetime Emmy Awards for Long-Time Favorites 'The Daily Show' and 'South Park". Viacom. September 21, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Margaret Lyons (November 26, 2012). "Wyatt Cenac Is Leaving The Daily Show". Vulture. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ The Daily Show Correspondents Discover Their African Ancestry
  4. ^ Andy Beta (October 20, 2014). "Wyatt Cenac Skewers Brooklyn's Preciousness in Netflix Comedy Special". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ Wyatt Cenac (May 13, 2011). "Comedian Wyatt Cenac Drinks Mint Juleps, Is Sorry He Doesn't Eat More Vegetables". New York. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ Robert Wilonsky (June 25, 2008). "Tonight on The Daily Show, Jesuit Grad Wyatt Cenac Becomes Part of "The Best F*&#ing News Team Ever"". The Dallas Observer - Unfair Park. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ Maron, Marc. "WTF Episode 622 Interview with Wyatt Cenac". 
  9. ^ Jim Farber (October 19, 2014). "Comic Wyatt Cenac sends up a gentrified Brooklyn in new Netflix special and album". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  10. ^ Wyatt Cenac; David Guy Levy (January 29, 2007). Barack Obama: Campaign Posters (.swf) (video). The Doomed Planet. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  11. ^ Wyatt Cenac; Jeremy Ring (July 21, 2008). Baruch Obama (video) (.swf). Comedy Central The Daily Show. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  12. ^ Wyatt Cenac; Jon Stewart; Jason Jones (July 29, 2008). Rapper or Republican (video) (.swf). Comedy Central The Daily Show. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  13. ^ Jung, E. Alex (July 23, 2015). "Jon Stewart Told Wyatt Cenac to ‘F*ck Off’ When He Was Challenged About Race". Vulture.com. 
  14. ^ "Episode 622 - Wyatt Cenac". WTF with Marc Maron (Podcast). July 23, 2015. 
  15. ^ http://www.bustle.com/articles/102768-wyatt-cenac-visits-jon-stewart-on-his-last-daily-show-theyre-good
  16. ^ Pam Grady (2007). "Medicine for Melancholy". San Francisco International Film Festival. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  17. ^ A.O. Scott (2009). "A Short-Term Affair Leads to Big Questions". New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Full cast and crew for Fanboy and Chum Chum (2009)". The Internet Movie Database. 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  19. ^ Vikram Murthi (2014). "Wyatt Cenac’s sophomore special intimately explores a thoughtful mind". theavclub. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  20. ^ Friedman, Megan (May 4, 2015). "John Oliver Has Some Non-Creepy New Catchphrases for Bud Light". Elle. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]