Biography

When standup comic-turned-television personality Jeffrey Ross emerged as a celebrity during the early 2000s, he specialized almost exclusively in aggressive insult humor, prompting at least one periodical to term him "The Meanest Man in Comedy." Throughout, he exhibited tremendous influence by Don Rickles and others of the same ilk. In fact, Ross soon began to headline celebrity-themed "roasts" in the Rickles vein. A native of New Jersey, Ross attended Boston University as a film and broadcasting major and political minor. He spent his first decade on camera doing guest appearances on series programs including Greg the Bunny, Six Feet Under, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and in films such as Jeffrey (1995) and Celtic Pride (1996). Ross (who joined the New York Friars' Club in 1995) commenced his roasts with a live set devoted to skewering comic Drew Carey, and it attained such popularity that it led to follow-up roasts for the likes of Hugh Hefner, Pamela Anderson, Donald Trump, William Shatner, and others. In the interim, Ross turned into something of a fixture on the Comedy Central network (particularly on its Man Show), and on MTV, where he and SNL vet Tracy Morgan briefly enjoyed lead billing on an edgy animated series called Where My Dogs At? (The program, which depicted two crass dogs wandering around Hollywood and insulting celebrities, so offended some viewers that the network promptly pulled it.) In 2005, Ross debuted as a director by helming, scripting, and starring in the comedy concert film Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie -- a filmed record of his standup tour of Iraq during the U.S. occupation. That same year, he also delivered a memorably colorful monologue in Penn Jillette's standup documentary The Aristocrats. In the years to follow, Ross broke into reality television as a judge on ABC's popular summer series The Next Best Thing, and participated as a contestant in season seven of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Producers paired him up with professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska. He continued to maintain his status as "Roastmaster General" by appearing at a number of celebrity roasts, acted in the romantic comedy A Novel Romance, and helped write the Robert DeNiro/Kristen Wiig vehicle The Comedian. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi