Mike Epps

Mike Epps moved from being one of the top stand-up comics working to one of the go-to comedic actors of his generation. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, he relocated to New York in his early-20s to perform stand-up. He quickly gained notice with his act and made his television debut on the cable showcase "Russell Simmons Presents Def Comedy Jam" (HBO, 1992-97) in 1995. He continued a close association with the show, eventually hosting several episodes. He made his acting debut in the film "Strays" (1997) directed by actor Vin Diesel. While largely concentrating on his stage persona, he continued acting on occasion, including filming a guest appearance on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007). HIs first major acting break came when he was cast to star with Ice Cube in the sequel "Next Friday" (2000). Epps played Day-Day, the cousin of Cube's Craig character from "Friday" (1995). The comedian was soon working steadily, appearing in "3 Strikes" (2000), with Faizon Love, and "Bait" (2000) with Jamie Foxx. Continuing a theme of playing characters who frequently smoke marijuana, he joined Wu-Tang Clan members Method Man and Redman for the stoner comedy "How High" (2001). He teamed again with Ice Cube for "All About the Benjamins" (2002) and the Christmas themed sequel "Friday After Next" (2002). He then joined Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce for "The Fighting Temptations" (2003). Epps showed a different side of himself when he appeared with Mila Jovovich for the thriller "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004). He partnered with fellow stand-up Cedric the Entertainer for an updating of the classic sitcom "The Honeymooners" (2005), playing the Ed Norton, the character made famous by Art Carney. He continued bouncing between stage and screen, appearing in films like "Talk to Me" (2007), with Don Cheadle, and "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins" (2008) with Martin Lawrence. He also returned to the world of zombies for "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007). After starring with Donald Faison in "Next Day Air" (2009), he made a memorable appearance as the drug dealer "Black" Doug in the blockbuster comedy "The Hangover" (2009). The actor then joined Ice Cube once again for "The Janky Promoters" (2009). He would work with another rap legend, Snoop Dogg, on "Mac & Devin Go to High School" (2012). Epps showed off a darker side when he played abusive comedian Satin alongside Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks in "Sparkle" (2012) and joined Forest Whitaker for the drama "Repentance" (2013). He didn't stray too far from comedy, however, joining Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis in "The Hangover Part III" (2013). He tried his hand at television with a recurring role on "Survivor's Remorse" (Starz, 2014-17) and playing the eponymous character on the short-lived sitcom "Uncle Buck" (ABC, 2016), a reimagining of the hit John Candy film. His film career continued unabated, though, starring in "Meet the Blacks" (2016) and taking supporting roles in films like "Fifty Shades of Black" (2016), "Nina" (2016), and "Where's the Money" (2017). Continuing his theme of not working exclusively in comedy, he also appeared with Bruce Willis in the crime drama "Acts of Violence" (2018), as well as in the dramas "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" (2019) and "The Cat and the Moon" (2019). On a less serious note, he starred in "The Trap" (2019) and "Meet the Blacks 2: The House Next Door" (2019). In 2019, his fifth stand-up special "Mike Epps: Only One Mike" (Netflix, 2019) debuted. The actor gained notice for his work as part of the all-star cast of "Dolemite is My Name" (Netflix, 2019). Epps played Jimmy Lynch, the buddy of blaxploitation actor Rudy Ray Moore, played by Eddie Murphy.