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Commencement Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipient - Jerry Brooks

Jerry Brooks “J.B. Smoove”
Actor, Comedian, Entrepreneur

Born in Plymouth, North Carolina and raised in Mount Vernon, NY, J.B. Smoove is an award-winning writer, comedian and actor, who continues to entertain audiences all over the world with his unique brand of comedy. His breakout role in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”as Leon Black has firmly planted him as one of the best comedic actors today.

Smoove joined HBO’s Emmy winning “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in its sixth season and has remained an integral part of the show since that time. During his run, Smoove has received a SAG nomination as a part of the series ensemble cast in 2018 as well as an NAACP Image Award nomination in 2012. The show will return for a highly anticipated eleventh season.

Recently, Smoove was seen in the third season of “The Last O.G.” alongside Tiffany Haddish and Tracy Morgan and lent his memorable voice to Hulu’s comedy “Woke,” as the black marker. Last year, Smoove starred alongside Tom Holland in the latest installment in the Spider-Man franchise Spider-Man: Far From Home in addition to appearing in the DC Universe as part of the animated “Harley Quinn” series. Smoove split his time between filming and entertaining audiences nationwide on his “Lollygaggin” comedy tour, which sold out shows across the country.

Smoove began his career in 1999, when he moved to Los Angeles and landed a recurring role on MTV’s “The Lyricist Lounge Show,” as well as featured guest spots on “The Chris Rock Show” and “Premium Blend.” This led to his first big feature film, where he narrated and starred in the cult classic Pootie Tang, reuniting with Rock. Smoove subsequently followed this up with a co-starring role opposite Adam Sandler in Mr. Deeds in 2002.

After a season as a cast member on the sketch comedy program “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” in 2003, Smoove moved back to New York City where he landed a coveted writing position on NBC’s iconic sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live.” During his fourth year on the show, Smoove received a 2007 Writers Guild award for “Best Comedy/Variety Series” for his work.

An accomplished stand-up comedian, Smoove has hosted NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” the Comedy Central stand-up series “Russell Simmons Presents: The Ruckus” and shot his own one-hour stand-up special “How I Dooz It” for the cable channel. Smoove’s show “Four Courses with JB Smoove” where he hosted comedians, athletes and entertainers during four-course meals to discuss everything New York City, ran for four seasons on the MSG Network.

Smoove’s previous film credits include: Date Night, Hall Pass, The Dictator, Top Five, We Bought a Zoo, Barbershop: The Next Cut and Almost Christmas. Past television credits include: “Everybody Hates Chris,” “’Til Death,” “Bent,” “The Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “The Millers,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” and “Life in Pieces.” Smoove’s unique comedic voice has also been utilized extensively in the animation space, where he had voiceover roles in both Ice Age 4 and The Smurfs 2 on the big screen, and in TV shows such as “American Dad” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Smoove is a car enthusiast, an avid sports fan and a proud supporter of the Mt. Vernon Boys and Girls Club.