Born: June 30, 1955
Blue Meter: Risqué

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Next Tour Date

Thursday | January 18
Tempe Improv
Tempe, AZ

See all David Alan Grier's tour dates



No records by this comedian.

Specials (and other video)

2009Comedy You Can Believe In
2004Laffapalooza! 2
2003The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto
2001Premium Blend (Season 5)

Features multiple comedians

1999Pulp Comics: David Alan Grier

Books (by and about)

2009Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-Covered Truth


A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, by way of hometown Detroit, David Alan Grier has combined polished acting skills with frisky street corner clowning—earning himself great reviews and a large fan base for his versatility.

Grier’s first brush with fame was in the title role of “The First,” a musical based on the life of Jackie Robinson. Co-written by film critic Joel Siegel, and sporting such dubious lyric lines as “sometime’s life’s an oyster, sometimes just a clam,” Grier’s ebullience was all the critics could cheer about. He received a 1981 Tony nomination.

From there he joined the cast of “Dreamgirls,” a musical that easily lasted longer than the one-nighter “The First.” He then joined Denvel Washington in the off-Broadway production, “A Soldier’s Play.” Having had Shakespearean training at Yale, Grier won the role of Richmond in a production of “Richard III” co-starring Kevin Kline.

At this point, Grier had certainly made use of his Yale Drama graduate training, but not the Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film that he’d earned at the University of Michigan. It was about time he worked in television and film.

He scored in Norman Jewison’s film of “A Soldier’s Play” and then won over comedy fans with his various characters on “In Living Color,” including Antoine Merriwether, blues singer Calhoun Tubbs and funky Clavell of “Funky Finger Productions.” He was flattered to be getting all the laughs, but didn’t see himself as necessarily a comedian. “I’m an actor,” he said. “I come on, you give me my lines and I do them.” He modestly admitted that on the show, “the actors took a much more active role in the creative process of shaping the characters and the dialogue.”

He went on to “The Preston Episodes,” his own Fox Tv series. Grier continues to balance comedy with stage work. He replaced Whoopi Goldberg in the Broadway revival of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” co-starred in “Jumanji” with Robin Williams, and appeared in a free New York Shakespeare Festival production of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in Central Park. He returned to television with a role in “Damon” in 1998, and followed it with “The 60’s.”