A native of Mount Vernon, NY (born Jerry Brooks -- hence the initials), standup comic, comedy writer, and actor J.B. Smoove began his career as a dancer in an hip-hop ensemble, performing as J. Smoove. The performer transitioned to schtick early on and cut his chops in Manhattan-area clubs, then landed a few small roles in Hollywood features (including the 2001 Pootie Tang and the 2002 Mr. Deeds), before striking gold on Saturday Night Live as both a sketch writer and a sketch participant. Smoove culled greatest attention, however, for his recurring role during season six of Curb Your Enthusiasm; he played the über-confident, street-smart Leon Black, a member of an African-American family adopted by Larry David and his wife after their residence is decimated by a hurricane. Smoove later acknowledged that the popularity of the role "set fire" to his career and led to roles on the sitcoms Everybody Hates Chris and 'Til Death.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Grew up admiring Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers.
- Performed as hip-hop dancer J. Smoove early in his career.
- Was known as the "king of the pitch meeting" during his time as a Saturday Night Live writer, conceiving outrageous sketches that rarely made it on the air.
- Shared Saturday Night Live's 2007 Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy/Variety Series.
- Supports the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown of Mount Vernon, NY.