Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Mark Simmons knew early in life that he possessed the gift of humor, but more importantly, he enjoyed the feeling he derived from making people laugh. Following graduation from Illinois State University and a successful stint proudly serving hiscountry as a member of the United States Air Force, Mark returned to his native Chicago. On a dare from a friend, Mark auditioned for the Miller Lite Comedy Search, a high profile marketing initiative from the Miller Brewing Company designed to locate and cultivate new comedy talent. Inspite of his limited experience at the time, Mark made an instant impression on the judges, making it to the semi finals of the competition. While he didn’t win the championship, the experience was enough to present Mark with his true calling.
Mark concentrated all of his efforts into becoming a world class entertainer. He honed his craft playing clubs, colleges and venues throughout Chicago and across the United States. Mark has developed a following around the world through stand out performances in several countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1998, he made his first national television debut appearing on B.E.T.’s Comicview and has remained an audience favorite appearing on the show every season since.
2000 proved to be a defining year for Mark’s career. In 2000, Mark won the prestigious Miller Genuine Draft Comedy Search and the MidWest Finalist in the National Salem ORBE Emerging Artist Contest. As a founding cast member and writer for the sketch comedy troupe “Forgotten City”, Mark and his fellow performers enjoyed an extended run on one of the stages of “The Second City Theater” in Chicago, one of comedy’s most celebrated venues.
Mark continues to grow as an artist while expanding his talent and experience. He followed the success of 2000 by landing a role in MGM’s breakaway hit Barbershop and can be currently seen reprising his role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business. The year 2005 looks to be a busy year for Mark starting with his third role in a major studio motion picture, in the soon to be released 20 Century Fox film Roll Bounce, a feature comedy spot on the new television comedy show P.Diddy’s Bad Boys Of Comedy, slated to air on HBO, and he is currently starring and touring in the multimedia play Real Men Talking.
In a search for entertainers, the characteristics most people are seeking are professionalism, energy, integrity, a high recognition factor and most of all original talent. All of these attributes can be summed up in one name… Mark Simmons, one of the most promising new faces on today’s comedy scene.
Stand Up Sports