About Finesse Mitchell
As a stand-up comic, actor, and television personality, Finesse Mitchell’s spontaneity, effortless wit and damn coolness has been known to leave audiences in stitches. Bursting onto the scene with his three-year run on NBC’s iconic late night sketch series Saturday Night Live, comedian Finesse Mitchell became a household favourite with many, creating hilarious characters like “Starrkeisha” and impersonating actor Morgan Freeman and rapper 50 Cent.
Known for his witty take on timely subjects, relationship humor, and politics, Finesse Mitchell appeals to all demographics, performing stand-up comedy to sold-out shows across the US. He has performed on the Shaq All-Star Comedy Jam tour and shone as a featured act on the SHAQ All-Star one-hour comedy special on Showtime, which was taped in his hometown of Atlanta. He has also been seen on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Wendy Williams Show, FOX’s The Real, TBS’s Who Gets the Last Laugh, Fox’s dating show The Choice, VH1’s hit show Single Ladies, BET’s Comic View, Tyra, Comedy Central Presents and Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. As an advocate and supporter of men and women in the Armed Forces, Finesse Mitchell co-headlined a comedy tour in 2017 performing at ten different Army bases for Army Entertainment. He also appeared in Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops which aired on Country Music Television (CMT) to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. His book, Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brother’s Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas earned him the 2008 African-American Literary Award for Best Comedy Book and was born out of his hip, hilarious and widely popular monthly advice column for ESSENCE Magazine. His standup special The Spirit Told Me To Tell You premiered on Showtime in October 2018.
WATCH FINESSE MITCHELL: THE SPIRIT
Forty-something dad Finesse delivers slick jokes and achingly accurate anecdotes in this set about marriage, parenthood and staying out of trouble in LA. Oozing cool and living up to his name, Finesse has all the skilful timing and assurance of a comedian at the top of his game in this smart, spirited special.
Reviews and Awards
‘If comedy is all about timing, then Mitchell certainly has a knack for it’Decider.com
‘Smooth-as-molasses delivery and occasionally giddy demeanor’Denver Post
‘Mitchell’s stand-up is good, relatable, topical, and get ready for this – somewhat off-the-cuff’AXS.com
Finesse Mitchell Tickets
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Before Finesse Mitchell began pursuing stand-up in Los Angeles and New York, he left his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia to attend the University of Miami, playing football alongside Dwayne “Pre-The Rock” Johnson and future Super Bowl champ Warren Sapp. Whilst at college, he began to dabble in the art of making people laugh, gradually working up the confidence to have a go at his first open mic comedy night. Caught up in the rapturous applause, the following week Finesse Mitchell invited a large group of friends to watch him perform another set. He reveals to the Democrat and Chronicle “I bombed in front of everybody! Nobody wanted to stand next to me after it was over. Everybody was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t know him…I will never forget that. That’s what got me hooked. It wasn’t the standing ovation the first week — it was bombing the second week that made me even hungrier to prove that it would never happen again.”
Finesse Mitchell worked as an insurance salesman for three years after college, eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue a stand-up comedy career. He performed regularly at The Improv and the Laugh Factory and made his TV debut in 1999 on BET’s Comic View. The exposure was beginning to pay off and was leading to multiple appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn as well as on NBC’s Late Friday. But it was the moment walking past a comedy club and hearing that Saturday Night Live were looking for new talent, that sent Finesse Mitchell’s comedy career on an impressive trajectory. As a stand-up comic, he had no experience in improv, but that didn’t stop him from auditioning. He explains – “With anything I feel I should go after, I just pretend I’m not me, and I’m just fearless about it. Usually it’s me turning into a character to represent me, going out and finding the right information and the right person to talk to.”
Mitchell was hired as a featured player for Saturday Night Live’s 29th season in 2003 after auditioning five times, then going on to become a regular cast member for the next 3 years. While he only had one recurring character, the stereotypically sassy ghetto girl Starkisha, his impressive list of celebrity impersonations kept viewers entertained, from Venus Williams, Colin Powell, Morgan Freeman, Puff Daddy, Gayle King, Bobby Brown, 50 Cent, R. Kelly, apl.de.ap, Kevin Eubanks, and sportscasters Stuart Scott and Stephen A. Smith.
Although Finesse Mitchell has now been on the circuit for over 20 years, he credits the time he spent on Saturday Night Live as particularly life changing. Speaking to AXS.COM he explains: “It was just a dope life…You look back on it like college. When it’s over you say, ‘Wow. I should’ve gone to jail a couple of nights but, hey, I made it.’”
Since Saturday Night Live, Finesse Mitchell has remained dedicated to stand-up, appearing on Premium Blend, Comedy Central Presents, The Tyra Banks Show, Just For Laughs, and Comics Unleashed to name a few. He’s also been making shakes as an actor – on the big screen, he’s starred in the hit urban movie Who’s Your Caddy, and appeared in the films The Comebacks, Mad Money, and Barely Lethal, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba. He was recently featured in the Sony Pictures/Crackle TV feature Mad Families opposite Charlie Sheen and Tiffany Hadidsh, and appeared in the Cameron Crowe Showtime series Roadies, Media on TV One, and the Disney Channel series A.N.T. Farm playing the role of Darryl, Chyna’s policeman father.
But overall, his heart is in the live comedy scene and he’s glad to be back to it. He tells Questia: “My standup career was put on hold because of SNL. I was out there doing the colleges and the clubs and trying to build a fan base. I don’t think it’s cocky to say what I bring to the table. I have a story-telling method where it doesn’t even seem like you’re hearing jokes. But you’re laughing all the way through. …”
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