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Paul Provenza (born July 31, 1957 in New York City) is an actor, comedian and filmmaker.[1]

Provenza grew up in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx and graduated in 1975 from the Bronx High School of Science. In high school, he started performing stand-up comedy, making his stage debut at age 17 at the original The Improv in Manhattan. He continued performing while attending the University of Pennsylvania, taking a year's leave of absence to study in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. While at R.A.D.A., he joined a classical repertory theater group, becoming one of few Americans to perform the role of Romeo on the London stage. [2] He graduated in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania, the year it awarded its first Theatre Arts degree. At Penn, he wrote for the Pennsylvania Punch Bowl and was a cast member of The Mask and Wig Club, where he has returned numerous times to perform in the annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival.

While working as a standup, Provenza also found work in both theatre and television, appearing on TV shows including Northern Exposure and Empty Nest. [3]. He received critical acclaim for his work on stage, with his performance in the Off-Broadway play Only Kidding! being nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Actor and winning the Theater World Award for Best Actor in a Play.[4] He was honored with a caricature by the legendary Al Hirschfeld.

After decades as a stand-up comic and actor, Provenza found a new calling as an interviewer of other stand-ups, culminating in his 2005 directorial debut The Aristocrats (made with Penn Jilette). At the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Provenza held a nightly show at the Underbelly, Talk of the Fest. Held at 11pm each night of the festival, the set up was described by Provenza as that of a "green room for the whole festival". Guests included Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park. The show was reprised by Provenza at the 2007 Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, where guests included Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard and members of The Kids in the Hall.

Provenza is now based in Los Angeles.

Partial filmography

External links


  1. ^ "Paul Provenza at Comedians USA". 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Paul Provenza at Comedians USA". 

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