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About Jimmy Shubert

It was Jimmy Shubert's scene-stealing performance as the lollipop-sucking strip club bouncer in Columbia Pictures' GO, directed by Doug Liman (SWINGERS), that jumpstarted his film career. Since, he has landed several roles in films such as Jerry Bruckheimer's "Coyote Ugly" and Fox Searchlight Pictures' ONE HOUR PHOTO, starring Robin Williams (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2002), and this coming January he can be seen in "The Italian Job" starring Charlize Theron, Ed Norton, and Mark Walhberg. He has also been seen on numerous television shows including ER, KING OF QUEENS (recurring), RUDE AWAKENINGS, ANGEL, ONCE AND AGAIN, SECRET SERVICE GUY and YOUTH IN REVOLT, FX's new show "LUCKY" which will premiere in April with John Corbette. Jimmy, of course, wants more? namely, a regular sitcom part, an Comedy Central 1/2 hour comedy special, and a lead role in an indie film.

Growing up as the son of a Philadelphia detective wasn't easy for Jimmy, as he and his band... Read More »

It was Jimmy Shubert's scene-stealing performance as the lollipop-sucking strip club bouncer in Columbia Pictures' GO, directed by Doug Liman (SWINGERS), that jumpstarted his film career. Since, he has landed several roles in films such as Jerry Bruckheimer's "Coyote Ugly" and Fox Searchlight Pictures' ONE HOUR PHOTO, starring Robin Williams (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2002), and this coming January he can be seen in "The Italian Job" starring Charlize Theron, Ed Norton, and Mark Walhberg. He has also been seen on numerous television shows including ER, KING OF QUEENS (recurring), RUDE AWAKENINGS, ANGEL, ONCE AND AGAIN, SECRET SERVICE GUY and YOUTH IN REVOLT, FX's new show "LUCKY" which will premiere in April with John Corbette. Jimmy, of course, wants more? namely, a regular sitcom part, an Comedy Central 1/2 hour comedy special, and a lead role in an indie film.

Growing up as the son of a Philadelphia detective wasn't easy for Jimmy, as he and his band of six brothers were always getting into trouble, My father was living his worst nightmare he was a police officer raising six criminals. Since Jimmy was the middle child, most of his childhood days were spent wearing "bloodstained" hand-me downs from his older brothers. He attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, majoring in Drama. It was from those experiences in acting class that Jimmy knew he wanted to be a performer.

Always the class clown and entertainer, Jimmy would perform magic tricks for his friends and family. By the age of 15, he had become an accomplished professional magician. He later channeled all that energy into stand-up comedy. Jimmy started performing right out of high school in comedy clubs around the Philly area. He later moved to Los Angeles and started working at the Comedy Store, performing and writing material for acts like Yakov Smirnoff, Jimmy Walker and Louie Anderson, and Andrew "Dice" Clay.

It was the Comedy Store where he later met Sam Kinison, and they became friends after Jimmy drove his motorcycle onto the Comedy Store's main room stage and proclaimed to the startled Kinison, "Last call. By the way, your ride is here." Kinison liked Shubert's cockeyed chutzpah and included him as one of the original "Outlaws of Comedy" which he toured with for five years, playing major casinos in Las Vegas and other venues like the Universal Amphitheater in front of audiences as large as 6,500 people. This experience he says was more like "being a rock star than being a comedian."

After Sam [Kinison] died, Jimmy moved to Florida and submerged himself in writing and performing. "This was a sign to take all the lessons I had learned and apply them to my stand-up and my life," says Shubert. He hit the road playing pretty much every club in Florida and quite a few other places he hopes he never sees again. "I was putting in a thousand miles a week driving," he says. "I would be in Clarksville, TN on Tuesday, drive eight hours to Cedar Bluffs, VA, where maybe 30 people were in the room, then drive five hours to Prestonburg, KY. I felt like a truck driver going to drop off a load of jokes."

In 1997, after a well recognized performance at the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, he was spotted by the late Brandon Tartikoff who signed Jimmy to a holding deal to develop a pilot sitcom for him to star in at 20th Century/ FOX. This prompted Jimmy to move back to Los Angeles. Though not nearly as hellish as gigging through Dixieland as a stand-up comedian, his time spent in LA reaffirmed to Jimmy that, appearances aside, nothing comes easy in film or television. It took a year of acting classes, casting calls, a part in a sitcom pilot that never aired, and repeated meetings with producers and writers before the part in GO was offered to him by director Doug Liman.

The GO audition couldn't have come at a more deflating time, however. Jimmy read for Liman the same week he had attended the funeral of his 12-year-old cousin in Philadelphia. While in Philly, he also learned that the proposed sitcom Postal, in which he was to play a Long Island postal worker, wasn't being picked up for the 1998 pilot season. With a certain fatalism hanging over his life and career, Jimmy read for GO by relying more on a devil-be-dammed instinct than any acting school technique. His biggest challenge, besides convincing himself he could keep up with his more experienced co-stars, was toning down his broadly scaled stand-up persona to the more intimate parameters of film. Instead of projecting to people in the back of a darkened comedy club, he had to let the camera project for him. "I had to really fight with myself not to play it too big because film can register thought," Shubert says. "If the camera is two feet away from my face and I roll my eyes, that's too much. I'm not going for jokes here, so I had to make it real."

Based on his role in GO, Jimmy earned parts on numerous television shows including the WB series ANGEL, and as Roger Daltry's road manager in Showtime's RUDE AWAKENINGS . "Things were really starting to take off," says Jimmy. "It was like a dream come true."

He continues to perform about thirty-six weeks out of the year and has made several recent appearances on THE KING OF QUEENS with his friend, Kevin James. Now on the festival circuit, Jimmy stars in a short-film entitled, VELOCITY RULES for producer Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Rush Hour II, Family Man & Money Talks). The film premiered recently at the 2001 AFI Film Fest and is also scheduled to go to the Telluride Film Fest.

His latest CD, Animal Instincts, demonstrates Jimmy's work in a sort of comedic short-story form. Highlights include the album-opening "Psychedelic Frogs," a druggy segment about people who lick frogs in hopes of tripping, and "From Democracy to Hypocrisy," a non-sexual segment that finds Shubert mercilessly bashing George W. Bush and Al Gore. A recent review at AllMusic.com (which received a 3 star rating) says "His confidence and lucid delivery enhances his humor, making even his most perverse moments hilarious." Jimmy is donating a portion of the proceeds to "The Joe Casey Jr. Scholarship Fund," in memory of his deceased cousin.

Jimmy copes with the often-inexplicable ways of his treacherous profession by repeating a line from The Godfather: "When Mo Green got shot, I didn't ask why?, I didn't ask who? This is the business we have chosen."