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|Occupation||comedian, television actor and writer|
Reed grew up in Oakland, California and attended Fremont High School. Additionally he attended Chabot Junior College in Hayward, California before being recruited to UCLA for intercollegiate Speech & Debate competition where he became a National Champion in competitive events: Speech to Entertain, Poetry and Dramatic readings.
In the fall of 1988, Don Reed was performing stand-up comedy at NACA and impressed a major Hollywood player[who?] so much he signed Reed for two episodes of a television spin-off of The Cosby Show, titled A Different World, on which he played "Chip St. Charles", whom Denise Huxtable had a crush on. This was Reed's television debut; he left the show in 1989.
After A Different World, Reed was cast as "Fingers" in a film called Dance to Win, which was released on December 1, 1989, in the United States. Reed also appeared on the HBO television program Dream On in 1990, then he appeared on Robert Townsend's ventures: an HBO television special Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime (1991) and The Meteor Man (1993) as a drug worker.
- Sherman Hemsley (as George Jefferson from The Jeffersons)
- Mario Lopez
- Todd Bridges
- Ernest Lee Thomas
- Michael Jordan
- Chris Rock
- Bill Cosby
- Richard Pryor
- David Alan Grier
- Sean "Diddy" Combs
- Bobby Brown
- Michael Jackson
- Mike Tyson
- Luther Vandross
Reed was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards: one for Dream On, The Cosby Show and Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime in 1989.
Reed's movie credits include: Fear of a Black Hat and Once Upon a Forest. Reed also joined the cast of NBC's The Rerun ShowHis showcase of impressions included Mike Tyson, Sherman Hemsley, Todd Bridges, Chris Rock, among others.
In 2008, he debuted a solo autobiographical show titled East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player and has presented a total of 5 solo shows altogether. In fall 2009, he became the warm-up comic for The Jay Leno Show. He is the first African American warm-up comedian for a major late night show – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – and performed stand-up to warm up the studio audience for over 1,000 episodes.
In 2016 he won an award from Snap Judgment for NPR/WNYC Performance of the Year. Later that year Theater Bay Area gave his show East 14th the 2016 TBA award for Outstanding Solo Show. In the same year, Reed co-starred in Amazon Prime streaming comedy series, Bartlett, co-starring Broadway phenom Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton. In 2019 Don Reed was approached by writer/director/filmmaker Robert Townsend to co-produce his one man, theatrical hit "Living the Shuffle."
- 'East 14th' writer could go back home again, Sfgate (February 18, 2010)
- Darryl Littleton - Black Comedians on Black Comedy: How African-Americans Taught Us to ... 1557836809 2006 "Ricky Harris: "I heard about the black comedy club. I went there and the ... Sinbad, John Henton, Don Reed, and there was a lot of teams back in the day: Dr. Purvey and the Free Clinic Players, of course Robert Townsend."
- Don Reed Tells Life Tale In 'East 14th', NPR, August 12, 2008
- 'East 14th' to play New World Stage, Variety, June 23, 2008 (" Reed, who played Chip St. Charles on NBC's "A Different World,"")
- COMEDIAN DON REED RACES DOWN FAST TRACK TO LAUGHS AND SUCCESS, Rocky Mountain News (August 30, 1991)
- Reed clings to clean side of clowning, Colorado Springs Gazette, March 29, 1991
- "2016 Snap Judgment Performance Of The Year! / Don Reed, I Miss Toni". YouTube. 8 April 2016.
- Coakley, Jacob (7 December 2016). "Theatre Bay Area Announces 2016 TBA Awards Recipients - Stage Directions". Stage Directions.
- "Concert DON REED: KIPLING HOTEL: The Best Of San Francisco Solo Series in San Leandro | San Leandro Public Library - April 2017". Mapado.com. April 30, 2017.
- "Back to the 60's: Flat-out hilarious!, KQED - PBS-NPR, July 23, 2013.
- "Don Reed goes home hilariously", San Francisco Examiner, July 25, 2013.
- "Don Reed a gem of a storyteller", StarkInsider, July 23, 2013.
- "Easy to Dig - Don Reed's Can You Dig It?", San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 2013.