It’s hard to embrace that little Aries Spears has been in the comedy game, so long, that in 2021 —post-COVID-19—he’s now an official O.G. of comedy. Born in 1975, the New York native has been perfecting his comedic persona since he was 14 years old, is described by Hollywood insiders as witty, charismatic, and ferociously aggressive in his comedy style. No doubt, a nod to his astrological sign which, like his name, is Aries (April 3) a zodiac symbol associated with the Greek god of courage and war.
It’s a good quality to have—courage because there is nothing easy about creating a space for yourself in Hollywood when you are African-American.
Looking back, it’s easy to see that Aries would find success in the arts. His mother, Doris Spears, is a jazz singer, and the proverbial apple never falls too far from the tree. After the family relocated to New Jersey when the young comic was just 11 years old he made his classmates crack up at Arthur M. Judd Elementary School where he attended. Bold and determined, Aries became a comedian at 14, performing stand-up comedy in various comedy clubs in New York City.
Remember his namesake is the God of War — Aries — and he was expelled for fighting during his sophomore year in North Brunswick Township High School ( in North Brunswick Township), when he was 17. No matter, Aries knew that comedy was his life and he started performing his own comedy routine around his hometown, remembering that his first impressions were at the Uptown Comedy Club, in Harlem, doing impressions of James Brown and Jack Nicholson.
The alchemy of the creative process requires a constant push and pull. To that end, he never gave up. Aries’s first television appearance was on Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam, followed by Its Showtime at the Apollo (1987). He moved to Los Angeles in 1992, and landed a recurring role on A Different World (1993).
Years of practicing his craft at comedy clubs throughout the US and in Los Angeles, in legendary spots like the Comedy Store, The Improv, and The Laugh Factory caught the attention of the creative team behind Fox’s sketch comedy series MADtv, and Spears was added to the show eventually appearing in 198 episodes, making him the second longest-serving cast member on the show behind Michael McDonald. In 2011, he released a special called Aries Spears: Hollywood, Look I’m Smiling, and he is also a two-time co-host for the AVN Awards (2018). One of his gifts is his ability to do spot-on celebrity impressions including rappers Jay-Z, Kanye West, LL Cool J, the late DMX, Snoop Dogg, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, the late Paul Mooney, 50 Cent, Wayne Brady, Bobby Brown, James Brown (sportscaster), the late Kobe Bryant, Ray Charles, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Bill Cosby, the late Sammy Davis Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Missy Elliott, Kevin Eubanks, Louis Farrakhan, Jamie Foxx, the late Redd Foxx, Stedman Graham, Bryant Gumbel, Evander Holyfield, Allen Iverson, Jesse Jackson, Kanye West, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Juvenile, R. Kelly, Alan Keyes, Chaka Khan, Don King, Queen Latifah, Gerald Levert, and Mother Love, to name few.
When Aries finally left MADtv he had created several memorable characters including
Belma Buttons (co-host of fictional BET show “Reality Check”), Dollar Bill Montgomery (a host of an urban parody of Politically Incorrect called “Real **********ing Talk with Dollar Bill Montgomery”), James Brown Jr. (co-host of Cabana Chat), and controversial rapper Emcee Esher.
Now Aries has stepped into the podcast universe with fellow comedian Andy Steinberg with SPEARS & STEINBERG — http://bitly.ws/dXTe —where these two funny men discuss current events, comedy, and life on the road.
There are 265 episodes of SPEARS & STEINBERG at the time of filing. Here are my selections of the best of the podcast (http://bitly.ws/dXTe).
June 3, 2021
Episode 263: Gay Rock
May 26, 2021
Episode 260: Rest in Peace to The Legend [Paul Mooney] — The host discuss the passing of comedy legend, Paul Mooney.
May 12, 2021
Episode 256: “I Hate This,” — The hosts discuss Snowfall, Godfather of Harlem, and colon cleansing.
April 29, 2021
Episode 253: E-Mails w/ Kyla — The hosts answer emails with assistance from Kyla Lacey.
April 21, 2021
Episode 250: RIP DMX
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