Raised a proud Razorback in Little Rock, Arkansas, Matt Besser attended Amherst College where he learned how to collect CDs. After graduating, Matt toured the Midwest doing stand-up, while taking improvisation direction from Del Close at Chicago's Improv Olympic Theater.
In Chicago in 1991, he became a founding member of the sketch group Upright Citizens Brigade, and with them he has performed and written stage productions including "Virtual Reality", "Conference on the Future of Happiness", "Thunderball", "Bucket of Truth", "Big Dirty Hands", "Punch Your Friend in the Face", "The Real Real World", and "Saigon Suicide Squad" (winner of Best Sketch at 1996 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen). He has directed stage productions including "Feature Feature", "Immortal Combat", "Sidecarrin'" (1998 U.S.C.A.F), and Todd Barry in "Icky" (2001 U.S.C.A.F). Besser's one-man shows include: "How Much I Lied", "May I Help You Dumbass?", "Don't Be A Dick", and "RUhi?".
As a stand-up, he participated in the first USCAF. His most recent one-man show is called "Woo Pig Sooie!" and concerns his battles with God. As an improviser he was a member of Chicago's "The Family" and is forever a member of "Asssscat!" the longest running and greatest improv show in the history of the world.
In 1996 the UCB moved to NYC and produced their sketch show "Upright Citizens Brigade" for three seasons ('98 – 2000) on Comedy Central. In fall of 2005 the UCB premiered their improv show "Asssscat!: Improv" on Bravo.
With the success of the TV show, the UCB opened their own comedy theater and improv school, which operates two theaters in NYC, and one in LA.
After the UCB TV show, Matt teamed up with Method Man & Redman to create and perform in a hidden camera show on MTV called "Stung". He was a co-creator and star of "Crossballs" which ran 23 episodes on Comedy Central, and also created and starred in "The Very Funny Show" for TBS.com. Besser has guest starred on "Sarah Silverman Show", "Reno 911", "Mighty B", "Word Girl", "Pilot Season", "Bernie Mac Show", "Frasier", "Late Friday"; and featured in the movies: Freak Dance, Year One, Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story, Drill Bit Taylor; The TV Set, Sundance Film Festival favorite Junebug; and zombie western Wanted: Undead or Alive.
Matt Besser has most recently worked on…
- Writing & co-directing film musical "Freak Dance"
- Developing a sketch pilot for Comedy Central
- Twittering at http://twitter.com/MattBesser
- Posting nude photos at www.MattBesser.com
With an impressive body of work that encompasses both film and television, two-time Emmy nominee Amy Poehler has emerged as one of Hollywood's most versatile and sought after talents.
Poehler stars in the popular NBC comedy series, "Parks and Recreation," from producers Greg Daniels and Mike Schur ("The Office.") She plays ‘Leslie Knope,' an optimistic and over-achieving mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In addition, Poehler continues to produce and provide the voice of ‘Bessie' in Nickelodeon's hit animated television series "The Mighty B!" She also has launched an online series, "Smart Girls at the Party". Poehler serves as producer and host of the series that showcases real girls who are changing the world by being themselves.
After her much buzzed about portrayal of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Presidential Election, Poehler completed her eighth and final season of "Saturday Night Live" (and her fifth as the co-anchor of "Weekend Update"). Renowned as "a brilliantly inventive sketch comedian," (Entertainment Weekly, 11/05), Poehler boasted an impressive arsenal of outrageous characters and memorable impressions. She recently received her second Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" for her work on "Saturday Night Live". Due to a change in eligibility in 2008, her nomination made her the first performer in "SNL" history to land a spot in this category.
In 2008, Poehler starred opposite Tina Fey in Universal's hit comedy Baby Mama. She was also recently seen opposite Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch in Spring Breakdown, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In 2007 she starred in the ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory, alongside Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, and Jon Heder. Her other feature credits include Hamlet 2, Mean Girls, Mr. Woodcock, Southland Tales, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, The Ex, Wet Hot American Summer, and Envy.
Poehler has lent her voice to a number of animated films. She will next be heard in the 20th Century Fox animated film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which will be out on Christmas Day. Additionally, she voiced ‘Snow White' in the box office smash hit Shrek the Third. You can also hear her in DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens and in Horton Hears a Who!, with Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell.
Ian Roberts is a father and a husband with two great kids, and a loving, supportive wife. He is also a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), whose eponymous show ran for three seasons on Comedy Central in the mid 90s. He is a founder of the UCB's two theaters and training centers in New York and Los Angeles, and can be seen weekly in the LA incarnation of Asssscat, the UCB's critically acclaimed improv show that has been playing to packed houses for over ten years.
As an actor, Ian most recently appeared in the independent film "Gigantic" with Paul Dano, Ed Asner, and Zooey Deschanel. He also recently joined the cast of Reno 911 for its sixth season on Comedy Central, playing the role of Sgt. Jack Declan. He is a writer, executive producer, and co-star of a new original series for Spike called "Players" which will premiere in March of 2010. Ian's most memorable role as an actor is still as choreographer Sparky Polastri in the now nine years old, but ever popular with teenage girls, Bring It On. Ian's done a whole bunch of other little roles in film and television (like stepping in dog crap in I Love You Man), which you can check out on IMDB.com if you're feeling obsessive or stalkerish.
Ian is also a writer, and in the five years since shifting his focus from acting to writing has sold eight screenplays to studios including Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, and DreamWorks. He is hopeful that someday one of them will actually be produced.
Matt Walsh returns television as the creator, executive producer, and star of a new half-hour comedy series "Players", premiering March 2nd on Spike TV. Walsh reunites with long time comedy partner Ian Roberts in the series, playing two brothers with opposite personalities who run a sports bar together. Walsh also appears in Fox Searchlight film Cyrus opposite Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, and John C. Reilly, which premieres at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Walsh also had a role in the Warner Brothers feature film comedy The Hangover with Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham, and Ed Helms.
Along with Roberts, Amy Poehler, and Matt Besser, Walsh is a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy troupe in Chicago. Founded in 1990, The Upright Citizens Brigade is an award-winning performing group and remains a training ground for up and coming, cutting-edge comedians. Walsh has instructed accomplished comedians such as Ed Helms, Rob Corddry and Rob Riggle. Walsh played the role of Trotter in the troupe's sketch comedy series, which ran for three seasons on Comedy Central. The first two seasons were released on DVD, and in 2008 the UCB released ASSSSCAT!, an all-new improv DVD that breaks down each sketch for a better understanding of the UCB method. ASSSSCAT! features guests Will Arnett, Ed Helms, Kate Walsh, Horatio Sanz, and Andrew Daly. After the success of their television series, the UCB comedy foursome went on to found two highly successful Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theaters located in New York and Los Angeles.
Previously, Walsh produced and starred in the 2006 Comedy Central mockumentary series "Dog Bites Man." He was a correspondent on "The Daily Show" and made regular appearances in comedy sketches on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and MTV's "Human Giant."
Walsh has also made memorable scene-stealing appearances in many popular comedy films over the last several years including I Love You Man, Role Models, Step Brothers, Semi Pro, and Old School. Walsh wrote and starred in the cult indie-comedy Martin & Orloff, and consulted on this summer's comedy Bruno starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
Walsh currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and child.
John Wellington Ennis attended the NYU and USC film schools. Ennis began directing comedy with his award-winning N.Y.C. cable access show, Toolz of the New School, a stunt comedy show with social criticism that was developed by Howard Stern Productions and Lorne Michael's Broadway Video.
Ennis has directed and produced Reality TV for NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, TLC, BBC, and VH1, and shot extensive music documentary with today's top artists for AOL. At FremantleMedia, Ennis worked in reality and comedy series development. Ennis also developed shows and formats for FremantleMedia's mobile content division, Atomic Wedgie.
Ennis directed, edited, and produced his first feature with the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Wild Girls Gone. His second feature, Free For All!, is a comedic documentary examining how our elections are stolen, and was called "engrossing, even enraging" by Roger Ebert. Pay 2 Play, a sequel exploring political corruption, is currently in post-production.
Ennis is also a co-founder of Video the Vote, a non-partisan national group that documents and reports on voting issues. His production company Shoot First Inc. is based in Beverly Hills, and he teaches documentary filmmaking at UCLA Extension. Ennis is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and his work can be found at http://www.johnennis.tv.