Comedian Godfrey at the Ontario Improv
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The last date listed for Comedian Godfrey was Sunday September 3, 2006 / 7:00pm.
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Aries Spears made a name for himself as one of MADtv's longest-serving original cast members. Known for his easy-going vibe and candid bits about race and culture, Spears has made frequent guest appearances on The Best Damn Sports Show Ever and a number of national talk shows. He got his stand-up start at the early age of 14 and landed a role in Spike Lee's Malcolm X a few years later. He's since starred in his own Comedy Central and Showtime specials and has consistently cracked up audiences with uncanny Bill Cosby, Red Foxx and Eddie Murphy impersonations. Learn More
Godfrey is one of the hottest young comedians on the horizon. In fact, Ben Stiller cast him to play himself in “Zoolander,” a performance that has since achieved cult status. His more recent film roles in “Johnson Family Vacation”, MGM’s “Soul Plane”, “The Cook Out” starring Queen Latifah, soon to be released “Phat Girlz” starring Monique highlight his comedic range. He is fresh off filming his fourth appearance on BET’s “Comicview” and a third round of his national commercials as the 7 UP guy. With his own half-hour comedy special in the works for Comedy Central, and a deal with ABC/Touchstone, clearly Godfrey is on the
It was in Bravo’s weekly show called “The It Factor” that the start of Godfrey’s career was documented. The story of nine people, who have what “it” takes to make it big in the entertainment industry, Godfrey was the only standup comic in the documentary. The show filmed him successfully booking a recurring role on NBC’s “Third Watch”; doing voice over work on several commercial spots, headlining for the second time on the TV show “Comedy Factory”; a spot on BET’s “Comicview”; turning down two regular hosting positions for two different cable networks; being offered and then working as a series regular on a new show VH1’s “Undercover”, and booking a career breaking commercial campaign for 7 Up, all in the span of 120 days.
“You know how in every college catalogue there is a picture of an African foreign exchange student standing in front of a computer?” Godfrey says in his standup routine. “Well, that’s my father.” His parents fled the Nigerian/Biafran Civil War for Nebraska, where they went to school and soon had Godfrey. Later, the family settled in Chicago. “I was raised in Chicago’s North Side,” Godfrey says. “No matter where I go to pursue my career and where I may end up in my life, in my heart, Chicago will always be home.”
Upon finishing high school, Godfrey received an academic scholarship to the University of Illinois in Champagne, where he majored in psychology. As a lark, he tried out for football and made the varsity squad.
“It’s funny how things work out, but I had to be a walk on for a half back position on a Big Ten team before I would get the opportunity to finally discover what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life.” he says.
It is tradition that all new members of the varsity squad perform in a talent show for the team and the staff. For his performance, Godfrey did impressions of his coaches and fellow teammates and ended up not only stealing the show, but also discovering his true comedic talents.
After graduating, Godfrey returned home to Chicago where he worked steadily as a standup comic. It was in the fall of 1995 that Godfrey made his New York debut at Caroline’s Comedy Club and The Comic Strip and was immediately signed by the prestigious William Morris Talent Agency.
Soon there after, Godfrey moved to New York to continue to fine tune his comedic skills. “It was tough at first, having to work my way into the comedy clubs, and learning to audition,” Godfrey says. But, as soon as he arrived, he began to work regularly in television. First behind the camera doing the demanding work of warm-up comedian for CBS’s “Cosby Show” and Dan Akroyd’s vehicle for NBC, “Soulman”. Then, he moved in front of the camera with his first network appearance doing stand-up on NBC’s “Friday Night Videos.” He went on to work as the roving reporter, doing street interviews for VH-1’s “Rock of Ages” and
then as the series host of “30X30 Kid Flicks, “ the highest rated show on HBO’s Family Channel. He also began to work in movies landing his first leading role with In the Weeds. He next played the role of a bouncer in Paramount’s Coyote Ugly, had a supporting role in “30 Years to Life” starring Tracy Morgan and was featured in Jerry Seinfeld’s documentary, “Comedian.”
The beginning of the 2000 marked a major turn in Godfrey’s career, beginning with his first appearance in the “Aspen Comedy Festival” and on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.” Coming out of Aspen, MTV featured him as the comedian to watch in their special, “True Life: I’m A Comic.” He went on to host MTV’s Spring Break and MTV’s “I Bet You Will.”
In addition to his film and television work, Godfrey is one of the most dominant comedic presences on the New York comedy scene where he is often in demand as both a host and standup guest star. Godfrey can regularly be seen performing in the hottest comedy clubs in New York including The Comedy Cellar, Comic Strip and Caroline’s Comedy and in Los Angeles at The Laugh Factory and The Improv.