Wyatt Cenac

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Wyatt Cenac
Cenac in 2010 at Earth book launch
Wyatt John Foster Cenac Jr.

(1976-04-19) April 19, 1976 (age 47)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
  • producer
Years active1995–present

Wyatt John Foster Cenac Jr. (/ˈw.ət sɪˈnæk/ WY-ət sin-AK; born April 19, 1976) is an American comedian, actor, producer, and writer.[1] He was a correspondent and writer for The Daily Show from 2008 to 2012.[2] He starred in the TBS series People of Earth and in Barry Jenkins's first feature Medicine for Melancholy. He also hosted and produced the HBO series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas.

Early life[edit]

Cenac was born in New York on April 19, 1976, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan and spent his early years in the Bronx.[3] His father, Wyatt Cenac Sr., was a cab driver born in Saint Mark Parish, Grenada in 1944. When Cenac was five, his father was shot and killed in his cab by a teenage passenger in Harlem. Cenac moved with his mother, a New York native, and Trinidadian stepfather to Dallas, Texas, in 1981.[4][5] He spent his summers with his maternal grandmother in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in an apartment on President Street.[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 Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas[8] and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill[9] before moving to Los Angeles. As of October 2014, Cenac lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn,[10] and previously lived in Prospect Heights during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Cenac is the nephew of the Hon. Mr. Justice Dunbar Cenac, Registry of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. His father was the cousin of former deputy prime minister of Grenada Bernard Coard, who was imprisoned for 25 years following the American invasion of Grenada in October 1983. Cenac's paternal thrice-great-grandfather Cherebin Cenac was an officer from Agen, France, on a French battleship during the Napoleonic Wars who settled in Soufrière, Saint Lucia. Cherebin's youngest child, Francis (1830–1892), later emigrated to Grenada.


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 The Doomed Planet comedy sketch in which he did an impression of then-senator Barack Obama, discussing possible campaign posters.[11]

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; titled "Baruch Obama," the report discussed Jewish voters' opinions of Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.[12] He continued to integrate satirical Black-oriented material in his Daily Show segments, including "Rapper or Republican"[13] 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.[14][15] Despite this, Cenac appeared on Stewart's final episode of Daily Show; both agreed that they're "good", a reference to the Maron podcast.[16]

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.[17][18] Cenac's other film roles include supporting parts in Sleepwalk with Me and Hits, as well as a lead role in 2016's Jacqueline Argentine and 2017's festival hit, Fits and Starts.

Cenac played the voice of Lenny and Michael Johnson in the Nickelodeon animated series Fanboy & Chum Chum.[19] 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.[20]

In October 2014, Netflix released Cenac's second comedy special, Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn.[21] This album was nominated at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album.[22] 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.[23] Cenac co-hosted four episodes of The Bugle podcast with Andy Zaltzman in 2016; Zaltzman previously hosted alongside Oliver.[24][25]

Cenac released his third stand up album Furry Dumb Fighter in 2016 both digitally and on vinyl.[26] It was recorded in Madison, WI.[27] Cenac reports that the album title is meant to sound like "freedom fighter."[28] The same year he starred in TBS sitcom People of Earth. Cenac played the lead role of Ozzie Graham, a journalist writing about a support group for self-professed alien abductees. The show was cancelled after two seasons.[29] In 2017 Cenac released a web-series titled aka Wyatt Cenac[30] about his life as a crime-fighting vigilante in a gentrifying Brooklyn. Cenac's HBO docuseries, Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas, premiered in April 2018.[31] A second season began broadcasting on April 5, 2019. On June 7 of that year, the series was cancelled.[32]

In August 2021, he signed a deal with Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation.[33]



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
2017 Fits and Starts David
2017 I Do... Until I Don't Zander
2020 It Started As a Joke self Documentary


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"
2008–2012 The Daily Show Himself/Various Wrote 570 episodes
2009–2014 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?"
2013 The Eric André Show Black Scientologist Episode: "Chance the Rapper, Mel B. "
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 No. 1 Episode: "I'm Sorry"
2016–2017 People of Earth Ozzie Graham 20 episodes
2016 Night Train with Wyatt Cenac Himself 6 episodes
2017 Archer Cliff 2 episodes
2017 Bob's Burgers Cool Nick 1 episode
2017 aka Wyatt Cenac Himself 10 episodes
web series
2018–2019 Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas Himself 20 episodes
2021 The Great North Colton the Croonin' Cod / Deppy / Dr. Gary 3 episodes


  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. ^ Julie Seabaugh (June 28, 2016). "Wyatt Cenac: Permanent Trainsition". Paste Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  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. ^ Kristin Iversen (September 2, 2014). "The People in Your Neighborhood: Wyatt Cenac". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Maron, Marc (May 25, 2023). "WTF Episode 622 Interview with Wyatt Cenac". iTunes.
  10. ^ Jim Farber (October 19, 2014). "Comic Wyatt Cenac sends up a gentrified Brooklyn in new Netflix special and album". Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  11. ^ Wyatt Cenac; David Guy Levy (January 29, 2007). Barack Obama: Campaign Posters (.swf) (video). The Doomed Planet. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  12. ^ Wyatt Cenac; Jeremy Ring (July 21, 2008). Baruch Obama (video) (.swf). Comedy Central The Daily Show. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  13. ^ Wyatt Cenac; Jon Stewart; Jason Jones (July 29, 2008). Rapper or Republican (video) (.swf). Comedy Central The Daily Show. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  14. ^ Jung, E. Alex (July 23, 2015). "Jon Stewart Told Wyatt Cenac to 'F*ck Off' When He Was Challenged About Race". Vulture.com.
  15. ^ "Episode 622 – Wyatt Cenac". WTF with Marc Maron (Podcast). July 23, 2015.
  16. ^ Stahler, Kelsea (August 7, 2015). "Wyatt Cenac Visits Jon Stewart On His Last 'Daily Show' & They're "Good"".
  17. ^ Pam Grady (2007). "Medicine for Melancholy". San Francisco International Film Festival. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  18. ^ A.O. Scott (2009). "A Short-Term Affair Leads to Big Questions". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  19. ^ "Full cast and crew for Fanboy & Chum Chum (2009)". The Internet Movie Database. 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  20. ^ "Wyatt Cenac's stand-up special comes to Comedy Central". Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Vikram Murthi (2014). "Wyatt Cenac's sophomore special intimately explores a thoughtful mind". theavclub. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  22. ^ "Wyatt Cenac". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. May 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Friedman, Megan (May 4, 2015). "John Oliver Has Some Non-Creepy New Catchphrases for Bud Light". Elle. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "The Bugle". feeds.thebuglepodcast.com. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  25. ^ "Radiotopia presents The Bugle • Kings Place". Kings Place. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  26. ^ RECORDS, ASPECIALTHING. "Wyatt Cenac – Furry Dumb Fighter – 2xLP vinyl / ASPECIALTHING RECORDS". astrecords.bigcartel.com.
  27. ^ "Comedy Stuffs". Wyatt Cenac.
  28. ^ Brownstein, Bill (July 16, 2015). "Just for Laughs: Wyatt Cenac takes his comedy to another level". Montreal Gazette.
  29. ^ Ryan Schwartz (June 9, 2018). "People of Earth Cancelled at TBS, Reversing Season 3 Renewal". TVLine.
  30. ^ "aka Wyatt Cenac". topic.com.
  31. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 16, 2017). "Wyatt Cenac to Star in HBO Late-Night Docuseries From Executive Producer John Oliver". Variety.
  32. ^ "'Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas' Canceled by HBO After 2 Seasons". TheWrap. June 7, 2019.
  33. ^ Schneider, Michael (August 16, 2021). "Comedian Wyatt Cenac Signs Overall Deal with Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2021.

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