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Friday, October 15, 2010

Who is Orlando Jones?

Who is Orlando Jones? The entertainment world knows him as an American comedian and film and television actor. He is notable for being one of the original cast members of the sketch comedy series MADtv and for his role as the 7 Up spokesman from 1999-2002.


Early life

Jones was born April 10, 1968 in Mobile, Alabama. His father was a former professional baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies. He moved to Mauldin, South Carolina, when he was a teen and graduated from Mauldin High School in 1985. One of his early acting experiences involved playing a werewolf in a haunted house to help raise money for the junior/senior prom. Jones enrolled in the College of Charleston, South Carolina. He left in 1990 without finishing his degree.
To pursue his interest in the entertainment industry, Jones, together with comedian Michael Fechter, formed a production company, Homeboy's Productions and Advertising. Together Jones and Fechter worked on several projects including a McDonald's commercial with basketball superstar Michael Jordan for the McDonald's specialty sandwich the "McJordan".
He scored his first Hollywood job in 1987, writing for the NBC comedy A Different World, on which he had a small guest role in the season five finale. During 1991-92, Jones penned the Fox series Roc and, in 1993, he co-produced The Sinbad Show. He also made a brief appearance on the FOX sitcom Herman's Head in 1992.

Career

 MADtv

After hosting Fox's music series Sound FX, in 1994, Jones became one of the original nine cast members of MADtv. Unlike some of his fellow original repertory performers on MADtv, Jones came to the show with limited sketch comedy experience. However, his comedy writing and television producing skills proved to be valuable to the early success of the show.
Throughout Seasons One and Two of MADtv, Jones produced characters like the Cabana Chat band leader Dexter St. Croix and Reverend LaMont Nixon Fatback, the vocal follower of Louis Farrakhan. He was also noted for his impressions of Andre 3000, Bill Cosby, Dennis Rodman, O.J. Simpson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Snoop Dogg.
Characters
  • Dexter St. Croix (Cabana Chat)
  • Reverend LaMont Nixon Fatback
After two seasons on MADtv, Jones left the show at the end of its second season to pursue a movie career. However, Jones returned to MADtv in 2004 to celebrate its 200th episode. Jones appeared in the opening video "Hey MAD!" where he lampooned Andre 3000. With his guest appearance, Jones became the third (out of five) original cast member to return as a guest on the show. The other original cast members who have returned are Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, and Debra Wilson.
During his time at MADtv, he roomed with Artie Lange, now a co-host on The Howard Stern Show. Orlando wouldn't allow Artie into the apartment if Artie had cocaine on his person. He was, however, according to Artie, very supportive and influential in helping to save Artie's life. Nicole Sullivan and David Herman of MADtv were also involved in the intervention (informing police and the show of his cocaine problem) of Artie Lange. This information was revealed on the June 12, 2006 episode of The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio by Artie Lange. Christa Miller, of The Drew Carey Show, was a roommate of Nicole Sullivan's at the time. Her appearance on The Howard Stern Show prompted Artie to reveal this information.
On July 28, 2008, Steve Langford of Howard 100 News reported that during the taping of the MADTV famous Babe Watch skit, Orlando claimed that when he awoke one morning, there was a horrible stench in the room and Artie was missing. Orlando said the bed was loaded with excrement. When house keeping came to clean the room he grabbed his stuff and jumped out the window to avoid being blamed. Artie Lange did confirm the incident.

 Other television projects


Aside from MADtv, Jones made many other television appearances. Perhaps his most popular and enduring television appearance was not in the form of a sitcom or television drama, but rather in a series of humorous commercials for a soda company. In 2000, Jones became the spokesperson for 7 Up and he gained wide recognition.This exposure led to a plethora of opportunities for Jones. First, he hosted an HBO First Look special in 2000 and then, in 2003, Jones was given his own late night talk show on FX called The Orlando Jones Show. Although his talk show was short lived, Jones continued to make additional television appearances. In 2003, he appeared on the The Bernie Mac Show and on Girlfriends. In 2006, Jones decided to return to television as one of the lead characters of ABC's crime drama The Evidence, as Cayman Bishop. He has also appeared in 2 episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, the first in 2007 as Chris's substitute teacher and the second in 2008 as Clint Huckstable, an allusion to the character Cliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show.
In 2008, he appeared as Harold Wilcox, a violent veteran with PTSD, on New Amsterdam.
In the first season of the show, Jones also starred on Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out. Jones was the first guest star on the show.
Jones is currently the co-host of ABC's Crash Course.
On November 16, 2009, it was announced that Orlando has been cast as Foreman's brother on House, TVGuide.com has confirmed. He will play Marcus, Foreman's incarcerated brother. In an already shot episode that is slated to air in February, the brothers will reunite just before Marcus' parole hearing.

Film project

After leaving MADtv, Jones expanded his cinema resume. He appeared in a bit part in his first big screen film, In Harm's Way (1997), Jones then joined Larry David in the feature Sour Grapes (1998), playing the character of an itinerant man. Subsequently, he appeared in Woo (1998), Mike Judge's first film Office Space (1999), alongside fellow MADtv alumnus David Herman, and in Barry Levinson's praised drama, Liberty Heights (1999). Since then, Jones has appeared in Magnolia (1999), New Jersey Turnpikes (1999) and in Harold Ramis' Bedazzled (2000).
During the 2000s, Jones' career began to branch out. In addition to his witty appearances in the 7-Up campaigns, Jones played the role of Clifford Franklin in The Replacements (2000) and he appeared in the comedy Chain of Fools (2000) and the horror film From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (2000). In 2001, Jones landed the role of Daryl Chase in the action-comedy Double Take (2001) alongside Eddie Griffin and worked with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore in Ivan Reitman's sci-fi comedy, Evolution (2001). Jones was also in the 2002 film Drumline alongside Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana and he appeared as the computer Vox in The Time Machine (2002). His other more recent films includes Biker Boyz (2003), Runaway Jury (2003) and House of D (2004). Jones recently had a cameo in the Chris Rock Film I Think I Love My Wife (2007).

Voice acting

Jones has been featured in many voice acting projects over the years. In 1993, Jones appeared in Yuletide in the 'hood and in 1998, he made a guest appearance in the animated comedy TV Series, King of the Hill. More recently, he lent his voice to the TV series Father of the Pride and the video games Halo 2 as the marine Sergeant Banks as well as other black marines and L.A. Rush. Jones is recently reported to be starring in the ABC's crime-drama Evidence with Oscar winner Martin Landau. In 2006, he co-created, produced and voice acted for the MTV2 animated series The Adventures of Chico and Guapo.
Jones is one of eight original MADtv cast members to engage in some form of voice work after leaving the show. Only Bryan Callen has not appeared in voice acting projects. He appeared on the very first episode of Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out.

Filmography

Year Title Role
2009 The Vampire's Assistant Alexander Ribs
2007 Primeval Steve Johnson
I Think I Love My Wife Nelson (Not Credited)
2006 Looking for Sunday Einstein Steinberg
2004 House of D Superfly
2003 Runaway Jury Russell
Biker Boyz Soul Train
2002 Drumline Dr. Lee
The Time Machine Vox
2001 Evolution Prof. Harry Phineas Block
Say It Isn't So Dig McCaffrey
Double Take Daryl Chase
2000 Bedazzled Daniel/Dan/Danny, Esteban, Beach Jock, Lamar Garrett, Dr.
Chain of Fools Miss Cocoa
The Replacements Clifford Franklin
From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter Ezra Traylor
1999 Magnolia Worm
Liberty Heights Little Melvin
Office Space Steve, Magazine Salesman
New Jersey Turnpikes

1998 Woo Sticky Fingas
1997 In Harm's Way Andre
Sour Grapes Bum

 Television

Year Title Role Notes
2010 House M.D. Marcus Foreman Eric Foreman's brother
2009 Crash Course Himself Host
2008 Pushing Daisies Magnus Olsdatter
New Amsterdam Harold Wilcox
Everybody Hates Chris Clint Huckstable
2007 Men in Trees George Washington
Everybody Hates Chris Mr. Newton
2006 The Evidence Cayman Bishop
2005 Ghost Whisperer Kaysey
2003 The Bernie Mac Show Party Planner
The Orlando Jones Show Himself Host
Girlfriends Dr. Darren Lucas
2000 HBO First Look Himself Host
1995–1997 MADtv Various Characters Sketch Comedy
1994–1995 Sound fX Himself Host
1992 A Different World Troy Douglas
Herman's Head Cop

 Voice acting and video game appearances

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Adventures of Chico and Guapo Chico, Guapo Animated Comedy TV Series
2005 L.A. Rush Ty Malix Video Game
2004 Father of the Pride Snack TV Series
Halo 2 Marine Sergeant Banks Video Game
1997 King of the Hill Kidd Mookie Animated Comedy TV Series
1993 Yuletide in the 'hood
TV Series

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