Ron Funches

While Ron Funches cast a big, burly figure, his persona was far more of a teddy bear than a loud, unruly grizzly. Where a lot of comedians made their careers being loud and profane, Funches got notice for his low-key, soft-spoken delivery that set him apart. Ron Funches was born in Chicago, and loved comedy from an early age but didn't feel he could perform comedy himself until he was in his early twenties, when he'd moved to Oregon. His previous comedy experience was making up jokes about his family that would make his parents laugh and forget about punishing him, but he finally went to perform at a local club once he built up the courage at the age of twenty-three. Funches's influences included Dave Chappelle and the late Mitch Hedberg, whose dry, low-key delivery has been compared to Funches's comedic style. Funches worked a number of regular jobs before making it as a comedian, including dressing up as the Statue of Liberty and dancing in the streets to advertise an income tax preparation company. Funches was able to carry this embarrassing experience with him as a performer, because he figured performing for club audiences wouldn't be as difficult or terrifying. Several trademarks of Funches's comedy routines included jokes about marijuana, children's television programs, and his son, who has autism. The fact that Funches was able to generate humor about a difficult family situation got him a lot of positive notice from families living with autistic children. Although he focused primarily on his stand-up career, Funches began a secondary career as an actor, making appearances on the sitcom "New Girl" (Fox 2011- ) and the sketch comedy series "Kroll Show" (Comedy Central 2013-15) before landing a supporting role on the sitcom "Undateable" (NBC 2014-16).