American actor and comedian of Cherokee Indian, Irish and Scottish descent Bryan Callen became famous for being one of the original cast members of the Fox sketch comedy series “Mad TV” (1995-1997). He is perhaps most known to the audiences for impersonating former American President Bill Clinton and as a dancing Pool Boy in sketches. He has since appeared in numerous popular series, including “7th Heaven,” “Sex and the City,” Significant Others,” “West Wing,” “NYPD Blue,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Frasier,” “NewsRadio,” and “Oz,” and starred in unsuccessful sitcoms like “Inside Schwartz” (2001), “Sketch Pad” (2001) as well as “Fat Actress” (2005).
The ambidextrous actor has branched out to film acting with roles in Bad Santa (2003), the hit Old School (2003) and Scary Movie 4 (2006). Callen also starred in several short films, including the award-wining Jack and Jill (2000), where he also served as a writer. He is scheduled to play roles in the forthcoming comedy Sweetzer (2006) and drama The Mirror (2006).
Off camera, the half-brother of Fear Factor host Joe Rogan, Callen loves animals, art and writing. He suffers from asthma, insomnia, and depression with anxiety.
Childhood and Family:
In New York, New York, Bryan Christopher Callen was born on January 26, 1971, to Randy Callen and Toni McBrier. Along with his half-sister Kelsey, Bryan was raised by his mother in the South Bronx of New York City after his Cherokee Indian father abandoned her immediately after knowing she was pregnant. Though not living in a wealthy family, he was a happy kid. Young Bryan found himself an excellent mimic and displayed natural knack on music and art. Growing older, he started taking part in plays to earn some extra money and soon caught by the acting bug. After graduating from the Bronx high school, Morris High School, in 1989, he attended Washington DC’s American University, where he majored in drama, and graduated with honors. In 1993, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy.
Bryan is now a resident of Venice, California. He enjoys boxing, wrestling as well as fencing, and has a black belt in karate.
A graduate of American University, Bryan Callen spent several years on the New York and Los Angeles stand-up comedy circuits before being spotted in a comedy club in L.A by producers who were searching for young flair for a late night sketch show named “Mad TV.” Signed in 1995, the energetic native New Yorker began a two-year flourishing stint as the show’s one of original nine cast members, replacing Craig Anton in the last minute. He did numerous impersonations and was noted for his work on impersonating such celebrities as Luke Perry, Jim Carrey, Robert DeNiro, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal. He also lampooned famous persons like Timothy McVeigh, Al Gore and Charles Manson, but was best-recognized for parodying U.S. President Bill Clinton in the 1996 Presidential Election debate in which Mr. President confronted against the new and enhanced U.S. Senator Bob Dole. Not only mimicking, Callen also introduced viewers to eccentric but amusing characters, most notably as a dancing Pool Boy from the Cabana Chat with Dixie Wetworth sketches. He departed the Fox sketch-comedy in 1997 to pursue other projects.
A year after leaving “Mad TV,” Callen landed a guest role on an episode of NBC’s sitcom “NewsRadio” and joined the cast of HBO crime series “Oz” in the recurring role of Jonathan Coushaine, a prisoner who trains his fellow inmates and inescapably stumble upon some excessively hard-hitting students. The same year, he also acted in the award-winning short Whacked, starring as Ricky. He returned to guest role in the following year by appearing in well-liked series “Frasier” (as a loathsome radio host upsetting radio psychologist) and “Suddenly Susan.” In the festival-screened independent comedy film Kiss and Tell (1999), Callen played the supporting role of the blameworthy Brian, and he served as a writer as well as an actor in Jack and Jill (2000), costarring and directed by Sheri Hellard. The 15-minute short won the 2000 Audience for Best Short Film/Video at the Hamptons International Film Festival. After another short, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (2000), Callen appeared as Robby-present day in the big screen film Wirey Spindell (2000), an unsatisfactory comedy helmed and written by as well as starring Eric Schaefer.
Back to series TV, Callen took on the costarring role opposite Breckin Meyer, Richard Kline and Miriam Shor in the NBC sitcom “Inside Schwartz” (2001). Unfortunately, the series was short-lived. He appeared in another short-lived show, this time as Vic Malone in “Sketch Pad” (2001) before making his way back to mainstream series with guest roles in the popular “NYPD Blue” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (both 2002). The comedian stepped into blockbuster realm in the following year with the highly successful comedy film Old School, playing the minor role of Avi, the Waiter. The Todd Phillips-directed starred Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn.
Callen appeared as bartender Barry Yoder in one episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2003), as Howie Halberstein in “Sex and the City” in the episode of “The Catch (2003), as well as Louis Slater in one episode of “The West Wing” (2003). He also had small roles in comedy movies Fish Without a Bicycle (2003) and Bad Santa (2003, starred Billy Bob Thornton). 2004 saw Callen guest star in “Cheap Seats: Without Ron Parker,” “Significant Others,” “Less Than Perfect” and “Las Vegas.” After starring opposite co-creator/actress Kristie Alley in the brief sitcom “Fat Actress” (2005), Callen again appeared as a guest star in series like” The King of Queens,” “Reba,” “Stacked” (all 2005) and “How I Met Your Mother” (2006). During 2004-2006, he also made a recurring appearance as George ‘Vic’ Vickery in the long-running series “7th Heaven.”
Recently, Callen was also made a cameo appearance as Harper in the comedy/horror sequel Scary Movie 4 (2006) and appeared as one of panelists in the reality show Stranded with a Star (2006). The actor will team with actor/writer/director Wayne Reynolds in the comedy movie Sweetzer (2006), costarring as Mitch. He also set to have a supporting part opposite Kelly LeBrock and Thaao Penghlis in the upcoming drama film The Mirror (2006).