Chicago comic John Roy is a unique voice on modern urban life.
A city dweller all his life, Roy grew up in Chicago's ethnically diverse Rogers Park neighborhood, the son of an ex-Jesuit who worked for Loyola University Chicago, and a psychotherapist. Growing up white and Catholic in a neighborhood full of African Americans, Orthodox Jews, Nigerians, Mexicans, Indians, Pakistanis, and every ethnic and religious group imaginable gave Roy a unique perspective on getting along in a crowded world. Roy's lifesaving heart surgery and altruistic parents gave him an appreciation of the importance of comedy as a means to social change. Chicago's rich cultural heritage, economic differences, and fast-paced lifestyle contributed to his observations on how we get by in a changing world.
Roy began his professional career at the famous Zanies Comedy Club on Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town. He went on to tour the country's best clubs, including the Laff Stop in Houston, and the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where Roy became a regular performer in 2002. In 2003, he appeared on the CBS television show, Star Search, and was its first champion, earning $100,000 and a development deal with CBS.
A move to Los Angeles traded one city for another, and Roy began to soak in the new cultures, lifestyles, and history of his new home and examine them in his comedy.
In 2003, Roy performed at the NACA Central Conference and was the most requested act in any category. In 2004, Roy appeared in the prestigious The Comedy Festival in Aspen, as a square on Hollywood Squares, and on HBO. Roy has appeared many times on the nationally syndicated The Bob & Tom Show, available in over 200 markets. Roy is a regular performer at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, the prestigious Comedy Death-Ray show at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Improv.
Roy appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend in the 2005-2006 seasons, and a November 2005 episode of CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. In 2006, Roy contributed an essay to Collegehumor.com that was collected in their nationally released book. Roy appeared in several episodes of NBC's Last Comic Standing where he advanced to the semifinals of the reality show/competition.
In 2007, Roy made an unprecedented four appearances in two months on the nationally syndicated television show, Comics Unleashed. His CD, 1246 W. Arthur, was released featuring Roy headlining at his home club of Zanies in Chicago. He became a regular performer at the Comic Strip in New York City, and made his second appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
In January 2008, Roy made his debut performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He also had the honor of performing for the World Bank in Washington, DC. In May, he received a deal from RBC Records to record his nationally distributed CD, Dressed for Recess, available in stores and on iTunes on August 5. Roy also appeared on Fox News' Red Eye, and VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. He also appeared on TBS as part of their Bitcom promotion.
In 2009, Roy will perform for a second time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and continue his regular appearances on Red Eye.
Roy was invited to the prestigious Chicago Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in June of 2009, where he taped a performance for TBS' new show, The Very Funny Show.