Prolific entertainer Guy Torry has made the transition from stand-up comic to television writer to noted silver and small screen actor appear effortlessly.
“I enjoy making people laugh and the challenge of doing that is a rush. I love cheering people up and making them smile,” said Torry, 42, who hails from St. Louis. “It was never my dream to be a stand-up comedian, but as a comic I get to travel and see different parts of the world and I get the chance to thank people for seeing my movies and my performances.”
Torry will be performing at the Improv Comedy Club for a three-night run from February 3- 5.
“I love the whole Improv Comedy chain and Pittsburgh is a good melting pot. It’s a good blue collar, hard-nosed town and it makes me work hard on a good show because the people work hard for their money and they want to get a good show for the money that they spent,” he said.
Torry, whose first name is Robert, always knew he had the funny bone in his body much like his older brother—comedian and actor Joe Torry—and even through he didn’t want to become a stand-up comedian, he realized he had a curious desire to have a thriving entertainment career while attending Southeast Missouri State University.
After moving to Los Angeles, he started working as a production assistant on the Fox comedy “Martin” with iconic comedian—and one of Torry’s idols—Martin Lawrence. Torry’s natural quick wit captured Lawrence’s attention and he became a contributing writer for the show and has had several other writing jobs penning episodes for sitcoms “Minor Adjustments” and “Moesha.”
Soon after, Torry went from writing for the sitcoms to appearing in them and numerous television movies. Some of Torry’s television appearances included “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” starring in the NBC mini-series, “The 70’s” and the UPN drama, “The Strip.” He has also made guest appearances on “The Shield,” “Blind Justice,” “One on One,” and “NYPD Blue.”
The Los Angeles resident also hosted “Phat Comedy Tuesdays,” a weekly comedy showcase for up and coming comics. That concept morphed into a weekly spotlight show at the Comedy Store on Sunset Strip entitled “The Guy Torry Show.”
The weekly laughfest, which lasted for a decade, was regularly attended by such iconic comedians as Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, and Chris Rock.
Torry’s movie roles have included “Funny Money,” opposite Chevy Chase, “The Last Stand,” which starred fellow comedian Anthony Anderson, independent thriller, “Slow Burn” alongside Ray Liotta, and most notably, “American History X” alongside Edward Norton.
“American History X was my first dramatic role,” Torry remembered of his character, Lamont. “I hadn’t done a lot of acting back then and I didn’t know who Edward Norton was at the time. I was just playing a role as honestly as I could. I’ve been told that this movie has been used as a teaching tool for a lot of people.”
Most recently Torry was introduced to a broader audience as one of the cast members of the seventh season of the NBC show, “Last Comic Standing.” During Torry’s time on the show, he made it to the semi-finals. Judges and critics said the comedian couldn’t take criticism on his comedy, which tackled such topics as the KKK and President Barack Obama.
“People saw me on the show and wanted to see me live and then they realize that I am hilarious. I tell people not to judge me by ‘Last Comic Standing.’ I am a guy who looks at a situation and sees the positive picture,” Torry said,
Torry has tackled stand-up comedy, television and movie roles. The next progressive step in his career would be to become a producer.
He is right on track to making that happen.
Torry has recently invested in an art, music, comedy and fashion company. The company is in the process of putting out a line of T-shirts.
He is also working on a comedy album and comedy special, both of which are scheduled for later this year.
“The sky is the limit,” Torry said. “You have to be like a box of Juicy Fruit gum and be able to change because if you don’t, in this business, you’ll get chewed up and spit out.”
(For information on Torry’s Pittsburgh Improv show, call 412-462-5233 or visit www.improv.com.)