David Alan Grier was born in 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Before landing his breakthrough gig on the show In Living Color, Grier graduated from the University of Michigan and then the Yale School of Drama. Immediately following Yale, he began performing as Jackie Robinson in the musical The First, a role that earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor. Other early roles for Grier include a National Public Radio show in 1980, a role in the film Streamers in 1983, as a professor on the television series A Different World, and in the film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.
But Grier’s big breakthrough would come with the show In Living Color, in which he developed such memorable characters as Mr. Brooks, Al MacAfee, Calhoun Tubbs, and Antoine Merriweather. The success of the show led to dozens of other roles in film for David Alan Grier, including Boomerang, Blankman, McHale’s Navy, In the Army Now, and a critically acclaimed dramatic performances in Tales from the Hood. Since In Living Color’s cancellation, David Alan Grier has appeared in a number of television shows and films, such as The Preston Episodes, Life with Bonnie, Bones, and The Woodsman. He has hosted the shows Thank God You’re Here and Chocolate News, and is a regular guest on both Loveline and the Adam Carolla Show. He has also appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
Most recently, however, Grier has returned to the stage for stand-up, performing live and for the Comedy Central network, including his own stand-up special, The Book of David: The Cult Figure’s Manifesto. He has also returned to the Broadways stage for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Race, which earned him another Tony nomination. As of 2012, Grier is appearing in Porgy and Bess, a role which has earned him yet another Tony nomination, and he published his first book, Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-Covered Truth, in 2009.