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Ian Roberts (actor)

Ian Roberts (actor)

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Ian Michael Roberts is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 actor, comedian and writer best known as a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade
Upright Citizens Brigade
The Upright Citizens Brigade is an improvisational comedy and sketch comedy group that emerged from Chicago's ImprovOlympic in 1990. The most recent incarnation consists of Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh...

 sketch comedy troupe.

Life and career


Roberts was born in Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 to parents Don and Penny Roberts, but spent the majority of his childhood in Secaucus, New Jersey
Secaucus, New Jersey
Secaucus is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 16,264. Located within the New Jersey Meadowlands, it is the most suburban of the county's municipalities, though large parts of the town are dedicated to light manufacturing, retail, and...

, where he moved at age four. Roberts is a 1987 graduate of Grinnell College
Grinnell College
Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa, U.S. known for its strong tradition of social activism. It was founded in 1846, when a group of pioneer New England Congregationalists established the Trustees of Iowa College....

 in Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, where he majored in acting. After graduating college, Roberts moved to Milwaukee and eventually to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 where he became involved in improvisational comedy, studying improv under comedy legend Del Close
Del Close
Del Close was an actor, improviser, writer, and teacher. Considered one of the premier influences on modern improvisational theater, Close had a prolific career, appearing in a number of films and television shows...

.

In the early 1990s, Roberts and Matt Besser
Matt Besser
Matthew Gregory "Matt" Besser is an American actor and comedian best known as one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch comedy troupe who also had their own show on Comedy Central from 1998-2000....

 (along with several other Chicago improv comics) would eventually form the Upright Citizens Brigade
Upright Citizens Brigade
The Upright Citizens Brigade is an improvisational comedy and sketch comedy group that emerged from Chicago's ImprovOlympic in 1990. The most recent incarnation consists of Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh...

 sketch comedy troupe, Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler
Amy Meredith Poehler is an American comedian, actress and voice actress. She was a cast member on the NBC television entertainment show Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008. In 2004, she starred in the film Mean Girls with Tina Fey, with whom she worked again in Baby Mama in 2008. She is...

 and Matt Walsh would later join the group, forming the UCB foursome who went on to create their own Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

 series and later opened the affiliated Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre or UCB Theatre is an improvisational theatre and associated UCB Training Center with locations in Chelsea, New York, the EEast Village, New York and Hollywood, California.....

 in New York and Los Angeles. Both theaters have become well-known hotspots for watching live alternative comedy
Alternative comedy
Alternative comedy is a term that originated in the 1980s for a style of comedy that makes a conscious break with the mainstream comedic style of an era, and typically avoids relying on a standardised structure of a sequence of jokes with punch lines. Patton Oswalt defines it as "comedy where the...

 and improv
Improvisational theatre
Improvisational theatre takes many forms. It is best known as improv or impro, which is often comedic, and sometimes poignant or dramatic. In this popular, often topical art form improvisational actors/improvisers use improvisational acting techniques to perform spontaneously...

 shows and in recent years have helped launch the careers of many of today's most popular comedians.

Roberts wrote and starred in the limited release film Martin & Orloff
Martin & Orloff
Martin & Orloff is a feature film written by and starring Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts along with Ian's wife Katie Roberts. The film was produced and directed by Lawrence Blume and features an ensemble cast of alternative comedians including H...

, and appeared with memorable supporting roles in films such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, or simply Anchorman, is a 2004 American comedy film, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell. The film, which was also written by Ferrell and McKay, is a tongue-in-cheek take on the culture of the 1970s, particularly the then-new Action News format...

, Bring It On
Bring It On (film)
Bring It On is a 2000 teen comedy film about two competing high school cheerleading squads, starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and Gabrielle Union...

, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a 2006 American comedy film, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell. The film also features John C. Reilly, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb, Amy Adams, Gary Cole, Jane Lynch, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Various Saturday Night Live alumni also...

, Drillbit Taylor
Drillbit Taylor
Drillbit Taylor is a 2008 comedy film starring Owen Wilson as the eponymous character and based on an original idea by John Hughes. It was directed by Steven Brill and the screenplay was written by Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen. Paramount Pictures released the film on March 21, 2008.Drillbit...

, Reno 911: Miami
and Semi-Pro
Semi-Pro
Semi-Pro is a 2008 American sports screwball comedy film from New Line Cinema. The film was directed by Kent Alterman and stars Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin and Maura Tierney. The film was shot in Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium , in Detroit and in Flint, Michigan...

. On the Upright Citizens Brigade
Upright Citizens Brigade
The Upright Citizens Brigade is an improvisational comedy and sketch comedy group that emerged from Chicago's ImprovOlympic in 1990. The most recent incarnation consists of Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh...

's sketch series on Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

, Roberts was often seen as the UCB Agent Antoine, but also portrayed many other sketch characters such as Steve Youngblood and Astronaut Mike Birchwood. A running joke on the sketch series was that his character (Agent Antoine) was thought by the other UCB Agents (Colby, Trotter, Adair) to be a cyborg
Cyborg
A cyborg is a being with both biological and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space. D. S...

 despite his constant assertions to the contrary.

Roberts, along with his other UCB castmates, has regularly appeared in sketch comedy segments on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

 for many years. Roberts also had a recurring character in the sitcom Arrested Development, Dr. Fishman (AKA The Literal Doctor, AKA Dr. Wordsmith).

Roberts was one of the new additions to the cast of Reno 911!
Reno 911!
Reno 911! is an American comedy television series on Comedy Central that ran from 2003 to 2009. It is a mockumentary-style parody of law enforcement documentary shows, specifically COPS, with comic actors playing the police officers. Most of the material is improvised, using a broad outline, and...

 in its final season, playing the role of Sergeant Jack Declan. Roberts most recently acted alongside UCB partner Matt Walsh in the Spike TV
Spike TV
Spike is an American cable television channel. It launched on March 7, 1983 as The Nashville Network , a joint venture of WSM, Inc...

 improvised comedy series Players
Players (2010 TV series)
Players is an American comedy series which premiered on the Spike network on March 2, 2010. The series is a partially-scripted/mostly-improvised comedy about two brothers who run a sports bar together. After airing 3 episodes, Players was removed from the Spike schedule and put on hiatus. The...

, which was created by Walsh. Roberts and Walsh star as two brothers who run a sports bar. The series ran for one season in 2010.

In September 2010, Roberts appeared with Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
Conan Christopher O'Brien is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer and performer. Since November 2010 he has hosted Conan, a late-night talk show that airs on the American cable television station TBS....

 in a series of commercials promoting O'Brien's new show on TBS. Roberts played the captain of the "Conan Blimp", with O'Brien riding along as a passenger.

Roberts has written several screenplays with writing partner Jay Martel, one of which was recently sold to DreamWorks
DreamWorks
DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming...

, with Steven Brill
Steven Brill (scriptwriter)
Steven Brill is an American actor, film producer, director, and screenwriter. He directed and co-wrote Little Nicky and directed Mr. Deeds, Without A Paddle, Heavyweights and Drillbit Taylor. He has had cameo roles in all three Mighty Ducks movies, and appeared in The Wedding Singer, Mr...

 in talks to direct.

Roberts is currently writing and producing on the Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

 sketch-comedy series Key & Peele, which will begin airing in January 2012.

Personal life


Roberts lives in Agoura Hills, California
Agoura Hills, California
Agoura Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California, and has the ZIP code 91301. The population was 20,330 at the 2010 census, down from 20,537 at the 2000 census. It is located in the eastern Conejo Valley between the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains. This city on the Ventura...

 with his wife Katie and their two children.

External links