April 21, 1970
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
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Although mastering comedy and serving in the U.S. Marines were two worlds that rarely intersected, actor and improvisational comic Rob Riggle proved that one could do both with considerable success, following a string of popular film and television appearances that included "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central, 1996- ) and "The Hangover" (2009). Physically imposing and equipped with a bullhorn voice, Riggle served active duty with the Corps in several hot spots between 1998 and 2004, including Iraq and Afghanistan while tackling comedy in various mediums. He was frequently cast as authority figures or nuisances who resorted to volume and tantrums when their capabilities were called into question; his ability to find humor in these discomforting characters made him a favorite with stars like Will Ferrell. A starring role on a CBS sitcom and a growing resume of film appearances in 2010 and beyond indicated that his star was on the rise.
Born Robert A. Riggle, Jr. in Louisville, KY on April 21, 1970, he was raised in Overland Park, KY and attended Shawnee Mission High School. He earned a degree in Theater and Film from the University of Kansas. While there, he also joined the United States Marine Corps and completed both his studies for a pilot's license and Officer Candidate School. After graduation, he became a second lieutenant with the Marines in 1992. After completion of basic training in Quantico, VA, Riggle went to Pensacola, FL and later Corpus Christi, TX to complete flight school. However, he abandoned his flight training just months before to complete his ground contract with the Marines. He was then made a public affairs officer and attended Defense Information School. After graduation, the newly minted first lieutenant was deployed to Liberia in Africa as part of Operation Assured Response and Quick Response. After completion, he was assigned to active duty as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs in New York. While there, he was again deployed, this time to Albania and later Kosovo.
After earning the grade of captain, he left active duty in 2000. Riggle and his reserve unit were called into duty to respond to the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He followed this with a year of active duty at Central Command in Tampa, FL before deployment to Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. Riggle returned to civilian life in 2004, though remained a member of the Marine Corps Reserves. His service netted him 20 medals and commendations, including the Combat Action Ribbon.
While in New York between military assignments, Riggle became active in improvisational comedy, often in partnership with fellow comic, Rob Huebel. The pair performed together in the group, Respecto Montalban, and later as a duo called Kung Fu Grip, both of whom appeared frequently at the Upright Citizens Bridge Theatre and on the group's self-titled television series (Comedy Central, 1998-2000). Riggle had already made his television debut in 1998 playing a variety of characters on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009). When Kung Fu Grip began gaining attention on the strength of the team's live performances -especially at the 2004 HBO Comedy Arts Festival and various VH1 specials - the duo landed a chance to audition for "Saturday Night Live." Riggle made the cut, and debuted as a featured player on the long-running sketch comedy show in 2004.
During his tenure on "S.N.L.," Riggle played a variety of characters, though his specialty seemed to be loud, highly excitable figures like presidential candidate Howard Dean and country singer Toby Keith. Unfortunately, his contract was not renewed for the following season, so he returned to Los Angeles to join Huebel and other improv vets on their various television projects. He appeared on several episodes of "Human Giant" (2007-08) Huebel's sketch comedy series for MTV, and guested on episodes of "The Office" (NBC, 2005- ), among other comedy shows. In 2004, he made his feature debut in "Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story," a mockumentary starring "Daily Show" correspondent Rob Corddry and "Human Giant's" Paul Scheer. Ironically, Riggle would replace Corddry on "The Daily Show" just two years later.
Riggle's tenure as "Senior War Correspondent" on "The Daily Show" was marked by frequent references to his military career; on several occasions, he joked that he could kill any other cast member on the show. Riggle also filed humorous stories for the program from China and Iraq, where he also performed skits for the troops with Huebel, Scheer and "S.N.L." comic Horatio Sanz. In 2008, Riggle departed the show - to "fight crime," according to his final broadcast - and shifted his focus on expanding his film and television career.
Beginning in 2006, Riggle became a staple of broad theatrical comedies with supporting roles in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006) and "Unaccompanied Minors" (2006). These were followed by two more Will Ferrell comedies - the hit "Step Brothers" (2008) and "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" (2009) - and the box office smash "The Hangover" (2009). In all cases, Riggle played to his screen persona: boisterous, pompous and tactless. In "The Hangover," he was a Las Vegas police officer who uses the film's hapless protagonists - Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifinakis - as human props in a taser demonstration; in "Step Brothers," he personified the rude office co-worker.
In 2008, Riggle signed a development deal with CBS that allowed him to create and star in a half-hour comedy series. He also enjoyed a recurring role on the network's sitcom "Gary Unmarried" (CBS, 2008- ) as lead Jay Mohr's half-brother, a former Marine. In 2010, he was signed to star in a comedy pilot titled "Team Spitz," which cast him as a self-important high school football coach. The news came during a particularly busy period in Riggle's life and career, which saw him co-starring in the features "Furry Vengeance" (2010), "Going the Distance" (2010), "Killers" (2010) and "The Other Guys" (2010); contributing voices to the animated series "American Dad!" (Fox, 2005- ); and appearing in skits with Scheer for HBO's "Funny or Die Presents" (2010- ). Equally impressive, the life-long Marine was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2009.
Let's Be CopsActor
Hotel TransylvaniaSkeleton Husband
21 Jump StreetMr. Walters
Dr. Seuss' The LoraxMr. O'Hare
Larry CrowneJack Strang
The Other GuysMartin
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell HardPeter Selleck
The HangoverOfficer Franklin
Unaccompanied MinorsHead Guard Hoffman
Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes StoryEddie Reynolds