Jon Lovitz

Active - 1986 - 2020  |   Born - Jul 21, 1957 in Tarzana, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Jon Lovitz is a versatile comedic actor instantly recognizable for his distinctive voice, acerbic wit, pear-shaped body, and hangdog eyes. He studied at the University of California, Irvine, and participated in the Film Actors Workshop. He then went on to do guest spots on TV and had a recurring role on Foley Square. Lovitz also played small roles in Last Resort (1986), and Ratboy (1986), and also provided a voice for the animated feature The Brave Little Toaster (1987). He got his first real break as a regular on TV's Saturday Night Live, where his characters such as Tommy Flanagan of pathological Liars Anonymous, the great Shakespearean ham Master Thespian, and the Devil himself became quite popular. His stint on Saturday Night Live put him in demand as a character actor and television guest star. His friendship with director Penny Marshall helped him get roles in some of her earlier films such as Big (1988), and his role as the fast talking baseball recruiter Ernie "Cappy" Capadino in Marshall's A League of Their Own (1992) earned him widespread acclaim. Lovitz has also appeared as a guest voice on the TV animated show The Simpsons and played lead voice in the critically-acclaimed animated show The Critic on ABC and the Fox Network.

In the years following SNL and The Critic, Lovitz remained active with comedic roles in film (High School High, Little Nicky) and television (NewsRadio, Las Vegas), though it his performances in such films as Todd Solandz's acerbic black comedy Happiness and opposite Kevin Spacey in the semi-comedic Jack Abramoff biopic Casino Jack that displayed more range most filmmakers had previously failed to capitalize on. And thought the comic actor was never known to be overtly political, his scathing criticisms of U.S. President Barack Obama on the issue of taxes made headlines across the country in 2012, resulting in an unusually serious appearance on FOX News in which he passionately defended his comments.

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  • Performed in high-school plays but credits the University of California at Irvine for providing him with his first real training in acting; met actors Ben Kingsley, Patrick Stewart and Robin Williams during his time at UCI.
  • Joined the Groundlings in Los Angeles in 1982 and met Phil Hartman there two years later.
  • Recommended for an audition for Saturday Night Live by former Groundling and SNL alum Laraine Newman and was hired in 1984. 
  • Persuaded SNL producer Lorne Michaels to hire Hartman after he landed a job on the show.
  • Made movie debut in the 1986 comedy Last Resort.
  • Appeared in the music video for the song "Voices That Care" and sang in the choir. 
  • Was originally considered for the role of Marcus Burnett in the 1995 action flick Bad Boys, but director Michael Bay decided against it; the role eventually went to Martin Lawrence.
  • Played a "stoned guy named Steve" twice on Friends, once during the first season in "The One with the Stoned Guy" and eight seasons later in "The One with the Blind Dates." But they were not the same character.
  • Opened the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal CityWalk in the greater Los Angeles area in May 2009.
  • Has played in a number of celebrity tennis events and has filmed spots for the Tennis Channel in which he appears as a chair umpire settling disputes.