Once upon a time in a land far far away called Chicago, there lived 7 young funny-ass fellows. They existed separately for years in the comedy scene. But one day they noticed the city was missing something. A certain flavor of love, social consciousness, and hope. So these young guys decided to join forces. Thus the Martin Luther Kings of Comedy was born.
They started performing "house variety shows" at a legendary apartment called "The Ice Cream Joint". But soon they discovered their movement was bigger than the house could hold. After a few house shows, they moved to start to sell out venues all over the city. From the Revival, to the Laugh Factory, to Steppenwolf Theater, and the Beat Kitchen, these young gentlemen have produced some of the most diverse, unifying variety shows known to Chicago comedy and the country, with their exceptional live shows and unprecedented touring productions.
Recently the squad has been fortunate enough to start a production company, Good Speech Entertainment-- an entity that has allowed them to partner with several organizations such as The Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund of Milwaukee, where the MLK's of Comedy raised over $1000 in scholarship funds to donate to Milwaukee Youth. As well as collaborating with Hudson House Productions to produce their television comedy pilot The Revolution House, taped live at Chicago's prestigious Steppenwolf Theater.
Don't worry. The MLK's will soon be in a city near you.
MEET THE SQUAD
Jarrell Scott Barnes
Jarrell Scott Barnes is a writer and comedian from Chicago, Illinois. He attributes his hard-hitting humor to the fact that he's versatile enough for any crowd. Jarrell was a finalist in the 2017 Devil’s Cup Festival in New York City, and featured in The Cleveland Comedy Festival. He's also the head writer for the squad's current Chicago-running show, Too Lit For TV at The Revival Theater on Chicago's South Side, as well as being a lead contributor to writing & producing the Martin Luther Kings of Comedy television pilot The Revolution House. Jarrell has also been an exceptional crowd favorite during the MLK's "Be Right Back" Comedy Tour, where the group blazed stages from Kansas City, to Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. Among appearances at The Laugh Factory, Zanies, DePaul & Loyola University, Jarrell produces sold-out shows all over the city where he is known for combining sketch and stand-up into a beautifully unpredictable evening of funny.
Joel Boyd is a 20-something-year-old fool who does stand-up, improv, and all things comedy. Graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Television Writing & Producing, he has been fortunate enough to also complete the Comedy Studies Program in partnership with Second City. Now living in Los Angeles, he's talked his nerdy nonsense at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Improv, The Comedy Bar, The Laugh Factory, Zanies, and Second City stages. Some of his biggest successes have been featuring as a "New Face" in Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, and television appearances for Hot Date on PopTV and Coming To The Stage, the Hulu stand-up series. Currently you can catch him as a writer for Drop The Mic on TBS, a performer & producer of The Collective Variety Hour, and a founding member of the MLK's of Comedy. Hug him. He enjoys hugs. Hit joelboydtv.com for more shenanigans.
A modern-day Renaissance Man, Branch is an actor, comedian, writer, producer and hip-hop artist. Branch made his comedic debut at an open mic night when he was just 16 years old. Six months later, he won the title of Best Comedian in Kansas City at Stanford & Sons Comedy Club. Now 23, Branch has not only performed alongside comedic heavy-hitters like Paul Mooney, TJ Miller, Josh Wolf and Dave Coulier, but has also written and produced his own unique shows and multimedia content. Branch recently finished the Comedic Writing and Performance program at Columbia College Chicago, and was a 2018 NBCUniversal/Second City Bob Curry Fellow. Check out aaronbranchworld.com to see what he's cooking up next.
Denny Love is originally from the cheese capital of the world Madison, Wisconsin. Denny started his acting journey at The Theatre School at DePaul University and graduated with a BFA in Acting. While enjoying DePauls rigorous conservatory training Denny continued to do stand-up comedy throughout college. Most notably alongside the standup collective “The Martin Luther Kings Of Comedy”, which has been featured in the Redeye as well as The Sun Times newspapers. Denny co-produces many MLK productions, and currently performs in showcases all around the city of Los Angeles. Since graduation, Mr. Love hit the ground running booking a recurring role on FOX’s Empire, guest starring on NBC's Chicago PD, landing a leading role in Victory Gardens SuckerPunch, directed by Dexter Bullard, while continuing to build his commercial resume as well. Denny comes from a small city but has big dreams and plans to take the world by storm.
Known for his edgy and unorthodox style, Chicago native Ty Riggs has no problem putting you in his shoes and giving you a tour through his hilarious world. From politics to relationships, he has something to say about it all. As a staff writer for the MLK's of Comedy and Too Lit For TV, he always brings his unique "Chicago West Side" point of view to every script and project. He's graced the stages of The Laugh Factory, The Revival, Steppenwolf and many more. He's pleased to have been a part of the MLK's of Comedy production of South Side of Oz to a sold out crowd at The Revival Theater. As one of the original founding members of The Martin Luther Kings of Comedy, he is proud to be seen all over the city killing the stage with his unmistakable hair and voice.
*Notable Past Members of the MLK's include Jayson Acevedo, James Fisher, and Mike Njuguna Robinson