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Jack Black

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Jack Black

Black in November 2006
Background information
Birth name Thomas Jacob Black
Also known as Jables, JB
Born (1969-08-28) August 28, 1969
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal, comedy rock, hard rock, acoustic rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, actor, comedian
Instruments Vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboard
Years active 1991–present
Labels Epic, Sony BMG
Associated acts Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Probot, Foo Fighters, Meat Loaf

Thomas Jacob "Jack" Black (born August 28, 1969) is an American comedian, actor and musician. He makes up one half of the comedy and satirical rock duo Tenacious D. The group has two albums and full-length films. His acting career is extensive, starring primarily as bumbling, cocky, but internally self-conscious outsiders in comedy films. He was a member of the Frat Pack, a group of comedians who have appeared together in several Hollywood films, and has been nominated for a Golden Globe award. He has also won an MTV Movie Award, and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award.

Early life

Black was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of two satellite engineers, Judith ( née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, and Thomas William Black. Black's mother is Jewish and his father converted to Judaism. On The Tonight Show, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name Blacksmith. Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother’s home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982, which was later shown during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and again on The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien. When Black entered high school, his parents suggested that he should transfer to the Poseidon School, a private secondary school engineered specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system. Black eagerly accepted the proposition, as he didn't like public school. He also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. Black later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in the entertainment business, at which point his father discontinued his financial support. Fellow UCLA veteran Tim Robbins later cast Black in Bob Roberts. He also had recurring roles on the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show.

Acting career

Black's Acting Career began with prime time TV. He played roles on several shows such as: The Golden Palace (Taxi Driver), Life Goes On (skinhead), Northern Exposure (Kevin Wilkins, prom king), HBO's Mr. Show, and Picket Fences (Curtis Williams). In a season 3 episode of The X-Files, titled "D.P.O.", Black played Bart 'Zero' Liquori, friend to Darren, a teen who could cause lightning strikes, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Black appeared in an un-aired pilot episode for a show directed by Ben Stiller called Heat Vision and Jack where he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.

Black later took on small roles in Airborne, Demolition Man, Waterworld, The Fan, The NeverEnding Story III, The Cable Guy, Bob Roberts, Mars Attacks!, The Jackal, Bye Bye Love, Jesus' Son, Dead Man Walking, Enemy of the State, and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. In 2000, Black appeared in High Fidelity as a wild employee in John Cusack's record store, a role which Black himself considers his breakout.

His career soon led to leading roles in films such as Shallow Hal, Orange County, Saving Silverman, School of Rock, Envy, King Kong, Nacho Libre, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Be Kind Rewind, Kung Fu Panda, Tropic Thunder, The Holiday, Year One and Gulliver's Travels.

He guest-starred on The Office along with Cloris Leachman and Jessica Alba in a movie within the show. He also guest-starred in iCarly, in the episode iStart a Fan War.

Jack Black has appeared numerous times on the "untelevised TV network" short film festival Channel101, starring in the shows Computerman, Timebelt, and Laserfart. He also provided an introduction for the un-aired sketch comedy, Awesometown, donning a Colonial-era military uniform. In the introduction, he claims to be George Washington (and takes credit for the accomplishments of other American Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln), and gives viewers a general idea as to what they should expect from the show. Black has also guest starred in the Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor as a bear trap store owner.

Black hosted the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on April 1, 2006 and hosted it again on March 29, 2008. He also appeared on the MTV video music awards on August 31, 2006. He is a member of the Frat Pack, a group of comedy actors who frequently work together, which also includes Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell. Jack Black has made five appearances on Saturday Night Live: three times as a host, once as a musical guest (with Kyle Gass as Tenacious D), and another appearance with Tenacious D, not as a host or musical guest. He produced and appeared on VH1's internet video show Acceptable.TV.

Black has voice acted for The Simpsons episode " Husbands and Knives", which aired 18 November 2007, voicing the friendly owner of the rival comic book store, Milo. Black appeared in a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire celebrity edition along with Denis Leary, Jimmy Kimmel and others and walked away with US$125,000 in October 2001. On December 14, Jack Black hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. He voiced the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the rock-themed action-adventure video game, Brütal Legend. At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, he was awarded Best Voice for the voice of Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend. In April 2009, Black also appeared in an episode of the children's show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" on Nick Jr. singing songs such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost", "Friends" and "Goodbye Song".

Music career

Jack Black with Kyle Gass of Tenacious D.

Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the rock comedy band Tenacious D. Along with Kyle Gass, they have released two albums, a self-titled debut, and the follow up, The Pick of Destiny, from which one of their songs "The Metal" was used in the music video games " Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and " Brutal Legend". "Rock Your Socks" from the album "Tenacious D" was played in the music videogame " Rock Band Unplugged", and "Master Exploder" from "The Pick Of Destiny" went on to be used in music video games " Guitar Hero Van Halen" and " Rock Band 2", along with their song "Tribute" from "Tenacious D". "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, features recurring characters such as Lee the superfan and Sasquatch. Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at Guitar Centre, and also another appearance in the music video for " Tribute".

Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to raise awareness and funds in San Diego on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo are performing their song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical", alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.

Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock", and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's " Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song "Burn the Witch" with rhythmic stomps and claps, some performed with his eyes closed. He also provided vocals for The Lonely Island's track "Sax Man" from the album Incredibad.

Black has also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf's new CD Hang Cool Teddy Bear. The song is called Like a Rose. Meat Loaf has also played Black's father in the Pick of Destiny movie. Hang Cool Teddy Bear also features Hugh Laurie, Kara Dioguardi, Brian May, Steve Vai & Patti Russo, produced by Rob Cavallo.

Black performing in 2006

Black has appeared in music videos of Beck " Sexx Laws"; Foo Fighters " Learn To Fly", " Low", and " The One"; The Eagles of Death Metal's " I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"; Sum 41's " Things I Want"; Dio's " Push"; and Weezer's " Photograph."

In October 2010, Tenacious D appeared at Blizzcon, a convention hosted by the game designers, Blizzard Entertainment.

Comedic style

Black's comedic style combines many key elements from both sides of the traditional double act. Black typically begins a skit in which he presents an earnest introduction to a premise or subject that quickly reveals itself to be flawed or fundamentally ludicrous. Black then switches completely to a far-extreme caricature of human emotion.

His would-be straight-man Gass often functions to trigger these outbursts. Tenacious D’s subject matter illustrates this technique. In " Tribute," Tenacious D tells a story in which they claim to have performed "The Greatest Song in the World" for a "Shiny Demon" who would otherwise "EAT THEIR SOULS." In " Inward Singing," Black does not merely discover a new vocal technique, he discovers what he refers to as "the most powerful tool in singing technology since yodeling." Black's skits also use the catchphrase "more cushion for the pushin'," a self-mocking reference to his own girth.

Personal life

In January 2006, Black became engaged to Tanya Haden. She is the daughter of the jazz double bassist Charlie Haden, and sister of violinist and singer Petra Haden. Haden herself is an accomplished cellist. Both attended Crossroads school and met again 15 years after graduating, at a friend's birthday party. Black proposed marriage around Christmas 2005. They married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California. Their son, Samuel Jason "Sammy" Black, was born on June 10, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles. On May 23, 2008, Black and his wife had their second son, Thomas David Black.



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Bob Roberts Roger Davis
1993 Airborne Augie
1993 Demolition Man Wasteland Scrap
1994 The NeverEnding Story III Slip, Leader of the Nasties
1995 Bye Bye Love DJ at Party
1995 Dead Man Walking Craig Poncelet
1995 Waterworld Pilot
1996 Bio-Dome Tenacious D
1996 The Cable Guy Rick
1996 The Fan Broadcast Technician
1996 Mars Attacks! Billy Glenn Norris
1997 Bongwater Devlin
1997 Crossworlds Steve
1997 The Jackal Ian Lamont
1998 Enemy of the State Fiedler
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Titus Telesco
1998 Johnny Skidmarks Jerry
1999 Cradle Will Rock Sid
1999 Jesus' Son Georgie
1999 The Love Letter Fisherman uncredited
2000 High Fidelity Barry Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance
Nominated — American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Music Moment
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2001 Frank's Book Performance Hipster Short Film
2001 Saving Silverman J.D. McNugent
2001 Shallow Hal Hal Larson Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Film- Choice Actor, Comedy
2002 Ice Age Zeke Voice only
2002 Orange County Lance Brumder
2002 Run Ronnie Run Lead Chimney Sweep DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Mental Patient uncredited
Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Nominated — DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actor in a DVD Premiere
2003 School of Rock Dewey Finn MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor- Comedy
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liar
2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Motorcyclist uncredited (cameo)
2004 Envy Nick Vanderpark Nominated — People's Choice Award for Favorite Funny Male Star
2004 Laser Fart The Elegant Hunter Video
2004 Shark Tale Lenny Voice only
2005 King Kong Carl Denham Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Movies - Choice Sleazebag
2005 Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Carl Denham voice
Video game
Spike Video Game Award - Best Leading Male Performance
2006 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Orson, Booker and Wolf
2006 The Holiday Miles
2006 Nacho Libre Nacho Nominated — Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Male Movie Star
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Movies - Choice Actor: Comedy
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Movies - Choice Chemistry
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Movie - Choice Rumble
2006 Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Jack "Jables" Black (JB)
2007 Margot at the Wedding Malcolm Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Paul McCartney Uncredited
2008 Be Kind Rewind Jerry Gerber
2008 Kung Fu Panda Po Voice only
Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
Nominated — Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animated Character in a Motion Picture
2008 The Secrets of the Furious Five Voice
Short film
2008 Prop 8: The Musical Jesus Christ Viral video
2008 Tropic Thunder Jeff "Fats" Portnoy Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
2008 Tropic Thunder: Rain of Madness Jeff "Fats" Portnoy Video
2009 Brütal Legend Eddie Riggs Voice
Video game
Spike Video Game Award - Best Voice
2009 Year One Zed
2010 Gulliver's Travels Gulliver
2010 Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Himself
2011 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Det. Bulldog R. Puppie Voice only
2011 The Big Year
2011 The Muppets Cameo Appearance/ along side Jason Segal
2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 Po Voice only
2011 Parker Redding's Big Movie Sawyer Redding In development


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Our Shining Moments Teenage Boy TV Movie
1993 The Golden Palace Taxi Driver episode "Seems Like Old Times: Part 2"
1993 Life Goes On Skinhead episode "Incident on Main"
1993 Marked for Murder Car Thief television film
1993 Northern Exposure Kevin Wilkins episode "A River Doesn't Run Through It"
1994 Blind Justice Private television film
1994 The Innocent Marty Prago television film
1995 All-American Girl Tommy episode "A Night at the Oprah"
1995 Pride & Joy Man episode "Brenda's Secret"
1995 The Single Guy Randy episode "Sister"
1995 Touched By An Angel Monte episode "Angels on the Air"
1995 The X-Files Bart 'Zero' Liqouri episode "D.P.O."
1995–1996 Mr. Show with Bob and David Various 4 episodes
1995–1996 Picket Fences Curtis Williams 2 episodes
1997–2000 Tenacious D JB 6
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Jack television pilot
2001 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself episode "Sweet for Brak"
2002 2002 MTV Movie Awards Host
2002 The Andy Dick Show J.D. episode "Flipped"
2002 Clone High Pusher/Larry Hardcore episode "Raisin The Stakes"
2002 Crank Yankers Tenacious D episode "#1.3"
2002 Jack Black: Spider-Man Spider-Man MTV Movie Awards segment
2002 Lord of the Piercing Jack the Elf MTV Movie Awards segment
Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition easter egg
2002 MADtv Tenacious D episode "#7.22"
2002 Panic Room with Will Ferrell Himself MTV Movie Awards segment
2003 Player$ Tenacious D episode "Tenacious D a la Mode"
2003 Will & Grace Dr. Isaac Hershberg episode "Nice in White Satin"
2003–2004 Computerman Computerman 6 episodes
2003–2004 Time Belt Computerman 2 episodes
2004 Cracking Up Brian episode "Scared Straight"
2004 Tom Goes to the Mayor Trapper JB episode "Bear Traps"
2005 Awesometown George Washington television film
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Jables episode "Break-Up"
2007 The Simpsons Milo episode " Husbands and Knives"
2008 Sesame Street Himself episode "The Golden Triangle Of Destiny"
2009 The Office Sam episode " Stress Relief"
2009 Yo Gabba Gabba Himself episode " New Friends"
2010 Community Buddy episode "Investigative Journalism"
2010 iCarly Aspartamay episode iStart a Fanwar
2010 Metalocalypse Rehab Doctor episode "Rehabklok"
2010 Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Himself episode "Jack Black"
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