Jay Mohr

Jay Mohr Biography.com

Film Actor, Actor, Comedian(1970–)
Jay Mohr is a stand-up comedian, actor and television host known for his stint on Saturday Night Live and for hosting Last Comic Standing.

Synopsis

Jay Mohr was born on August 23, 1970, in Verona, New Jersey. He performed his first stand-up gig when he was 16 years old and in 1993 landed a coveted spot on Saturday Night Live. After SNL, Mohr appeared in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire, was host and part-owner of the reality television show Last Comic Standing and starred in his own sitcom, Gary Unmarried. Mohr is married to actress Nikki Cox.

Early Life

Actor and comedian. Born Jon Ferguson Mohr on August 23, 1970, in Verona, New Jersey. Determined from a young age to become a comedian, Mohr performed his first stand-up gig in West Orange, New Jersey, when he was 16 years old and immediately became hooked on performing. Mohr worked the circuit of comedy clubs, bars and college campuses for several years while making his name as a comic.

Career Highlights

In 1993, Jay Mohr landed a coveted spot on the famed sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, joining other up-and-coming comics like Chris Farley and Adam Sandler to form something of a youth movement on the show. Mohr's impressions of celebrities like Christopher Walken were a hit with audiences. The intense competition for airtime on the show, however, proved to be personally disastrous. Mohr began having panic attacks - sometimes on live television - that eventually required medication. "I realized that I am all right," Mohr later said. "This place, however, was dysfunctional." In 2004, Mohr published a memoir called Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live, in which he described his troubled stint on the show in painful detail.

Mohr left Saturday Night Live in 1995 and soon after was cast in a scene-stealing role as Bob Sugar, a slimy, ruthless sports agent in Cameron Crowe's popular movie Jerry Maguire. Over the next several years, Mohr appeared in a wide variety of movies and television shows—200 Cigarettes, Pay It Forward, Scrubs and The Jeff Foxworthy Show, to name a few - while continuing to entertain live audiences as a stand-up comedian.

Personal Life

Mohr was married to model and actress Nicole Chamberlain from 1998 to 2004. The marriage produced one son, Jackson. After Mohr and Chamberlain parted ways, Mohr met his second wife, actress Nikki Cox, when he guest-starred on her television show Las Vegas. The couple married in December 2006 and Mohr legally added her surname to his own, becoming Jon Ferguson Cox Mohr. His domestic life forced him to change his comedy act. "When I first got into comedy it was to get girls and get drunk. Get laid or fight," Mohr said. "Then I got sober and I got married and I don't want to fight anybody. So that act had to go away and I had to talk about me."

When crafting a comedy routine, Mohr now relies on feedback from his wife and his audiences to help tease out a promising idea into more well-rounded material. "If I think of an idea while I'm jogging, I'll talk to my wife about it and say, 'This is funny, right? Have you noticed this?' and we'll agree," Mohr said. "And then when I'm on stage I'll start talking about it and flesh it out. Maybe two or three minutes to start or maybe it'll be going well and I'll just keep talking for 15 minutes and it'll be an actual routine."

Gary Unmarried

From 2003 through 2006, Mohr was the host, executive producer and part-owner of the reality television show Last Comic Standing, which introduced new comedic talent to American audiences. He then landed a starring role in his own sitcom, Gary Unmarried, in 2008. The show ran for two years before being unceremoniously dropped by the CBS network in 2010, leaving Mohr suddenly out of a job. "I became very spoiled on GU, both financially and otherwise. I gained about 20 pounds simply from standing around my set and eating. For two years I got to act like big shit. Then ... poof. Gone," Mohr reflected in his personal blog after the show's cancellation. "Now I am on some Mediterranean diet and running religiously along the Pacific Ocean. I have this strange obsession that whatever job comes next, the least I could do is be in good shape for it."

Moving on from the defunct sitcom, Mohr hit the road to renew his stand-up career, playing clubs and small audiences like he did when he was just starting out. "I have re-discovered the root of who I am professionally," Mohr wrote. "I am a comic. Always have been and always will be."

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