Comedian, columnist Kevin Downey, Jr. has been recently labeled, “refreshingly bizarre” by fellow comedian Joe Mulligan. Kevin headlined small rooms all over the U.S. and enjoyed a “cult” following, (that means only 28 people dug him), until his frequent and on-going bookings at the Comedy Stop at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, which has brought him to a new level of notoriety. Kevin now works “A” clubs everywhere, and to larger and larger audiences. The Early Years- Whereas most comedians will lie about where they grew up in an effort to gain, “street creds”, comedian, columnist and all around swell guy Kevin Downey, Jr. actually did grow up in Detroit MI. He made his TV debut at age 6 on CKLW’s, “The Bozo Show” where he won a hockey stick, a 12-pack of Orange Crush and some Tootsie Rolls playing, “The Bug Game”. Like all kids in Detroit Kevin attempted to play ice hockey, but his first and only season was cut short when the coach realized Kevin was too small to skate while wearing all the gear, thus clearing the way for Wayne Gretzky to top Gordie Howe’s achievements. Bright Lights burnin’ Gonna set your Soul on Fire- Kevin moved to New York City looking for fame and fortune. He instantly landed a, “part” at Macy’s Santa land as an elf, (some call it the longest running show on Broadway). Kevin was decimated to learn all elves were fired after the Christmas Eve shift. Shortly thereafter Kevin went to his first comedy show at New York’s Comic Strip Live and realized his calling, though it would be three years until he had the stones to get on stage himself. Money for nothing and your chicks for free Today Kevin is headlining clubs everywhere in the U.S. He can be heard on The Bob and Tom Show, Sirius and XM Satellite radio regularly. He’s been on Comedy Central, What Not to Wear, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy where he got a much needed haircut. Kevin appears at the Comedy Stop at the Trop in Las Vegas at least four times per year. He has an ever-growing fan base that comes to see him again and again. He writes a column called, “Drinking on $11 a Night”, which can be read in Bachelor Pad Magazine, GC magazine, at usedwigs.com and drinkingon11.com. Kevin’s song, “Secret Garden of Dirty Little Whores, (who think they’re better than me)”, can be heard on college and traditional radio stations throughout the country. He has a nationally released DVD called, “I’m not Gay, but Dont Stop” which can be found on Amazon and Netflix Kevin is not related to Robert Downey, Jr.
|As a result of winning the prestigious Ladies of Laughter Contest, a national comedy competition held at Caesar’s Palace, Chris was give a long-running spot on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. She’s also appeared as a featured comedian on ABC’s “The View” and on The Lifetime Network. She’s worked with Jerry Seinfeld, Sherman Hemsley, Joy Behar, Gilbert Gottfried, Roseanne, and Tony Danza, to name a few.Her performing career started, however, as a theatrical “triple-threat”: an actress, singer, and dancer in an endless stream of drama, opera, improvisational theater, and musicals: “I did ‘Oklahoma’ so many times I qualified for Farm Aid.” Those years of study and training led to becoming part of a resident company at The Walnut Street Theatre, The Trenton Civic Opera, Bucks County Playhouse, and productions at The Actors’ Playhouse in NYC.All that acting experience turned out to be a perfect foundation for stand-up, leading a reviewer of her one-woman show to rave: “Chris Rich is unbelievably good. From the minute she took the stage she could do no wrong. Not just a stand-up, she’s a versatile cabaret performer who incorporates character sketches and improv into an act that’s a pure joy.”Because of this professional discipline and ability to connect with and to “read” an audience, Chris has performed in countless clubs and theaters, from the “tough crowds” in intimate NYC clubs who like aggressive, no-holds-barred comedy to the beautiful stages in Las Vegas Casinos and the vast theaters on the biggest cruiseships. Since she prefers to work clean and has such a wealth of material, Chris has been welcomed to perform for such diverse entities as The Department of Defense and Amnesty International, National Political Party Fundraisers, iconic institutions like Princeton, Notre Dame, Villanova, and Cornell Universities, and the Military Academies at West Point and Valley Forge. She’s spent almost a decade working on several cruise ship lines, both American and European, from Alaska to Antarctica and all the warmer spots in between. She also teaches courses in Comedy, Professional Speech Improvement and Presentation, and most recently has branched off into being a staff writer and warm-up comic for live TV shows.
Chris is recognized in the comedy circuit for her natural inclination to improvise on stage and to try to “never do the same show twice” by exploring the unique subculture that makes up every audience, from the Annual Meetings of Law Offices to the Holiday Parties of Psychiatric Societies. Her work as a Keynote Speaker has brought her to even more diverse groups and they’ve all discovered her knack for turning stress into laughter. Chris’ message is to just never give up, and she uses humor and her own personal tragedy as a guide for others to set their own course in life.
Some of the happiest times of her career have been the many USO Tours throughout Europe, in Japan, Iceland, Hawaii, and active war zones. Chris is currently in the process of writing a book of short stories about her family called “Hope Street”, which is the real address of her ancestors’ first American home.