Mike Epps

You might not think of Indiana as being a particularly funny state, but it has given us David Letterman, Jim Gaffigan, and Mike Epps. Epps was raised in Gary, the hometown of Michael Jackson. "They almost caught Michael Jackson," Epps says, "but I'm glad they didn't get him. I'll bet the guys in prison wasn't happy. They was mad. 'I wanted him! I've wanted Mike since I was a kid.'" A class clown, Epps entered a standup comedy competition in his teens, and was so encouraged by the response that he decided to move to Atlanta to pursue his newfound passion. He became so successful there that a club owner suggested he head to New York City, which Epps did almost immediately. Appearances on HBO's Def Comedy Jam followed. Then Epps found himself in L.A., where he had spent summers with his grandparents. While performing at the Comedy Store, he caught the attention of Ice Cube, who then asked him to be in the movie Next Friday. Epps has been in several films since, and continues his rise to fame.
Fri., April 3, 8:30 p.m., 2009

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