Paul Provenza

Paul Provenza
Full name
Paul Provenza
Country
USA

Paul Provenza (born July 31, 1957) is an actor, comedian, filmmaker, and self-professed skeptic based in Los Angeles. Provenza was born and grew up in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx, New York City, and graduated in 1975 from the Bronx High School of Science. In high school, he started performing stand-up comedy, making his stage debut at age 17 at the original The Improv in Manhattan. He continued performing while attending the University of Pennsylvania, taking a year's leave of absence to study in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. While at RADA, he joined a classical repertory theatre group, becoming one of few Americans to perform the role of Romeo on the London stage. He graduated in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania, the year it awarded its first Theatre Arts degree. At Penn, he wrote for the Pennsylvania Punch Bowl and was a cast member of the Mask and Wig Club, where he has returned numerous times to perform in the annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival. While working as a standup, Provenza also found work in both theatre and television, appearing on TV shows including Northern Exposure and Empty Nest. He received critical acclaim for his work on stage, with his performance in the Off-Broadway play Only Kidding! being nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Actor and winning the Theater World Award for Best Actor in a Play. He was the stand-up comedian opening act for Diana Ross for three years or more. He was honored with a caricature by the legendary Al Hirschfeld. He also is a frequent panelist on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on National Public Radio