Michael Elliot Epps is an American comedian, actor, producer, writer and rapper. He is best known for his stand-up comedy routines, plus his roles in the movies Next Friday and Friday After Next. In this biography, Epps tells his story in his own words.

Mike Epps Bio: Early Life, Wife, Family, Education

Epps was born on November 18, 1970 (Mike Epps age: 48) to Mary Reed and Tommy Epps. He grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, falling in with a rebellious crowd in his adolescence. Epps dropped out of high school and instead spent his time selling drugs on street corners. He was arrested in 1989 for possession of cocaine and intent to distribute and served two years at Marion County Jail.

Mike Epps Bio: Comedy Career, Movies

In 1994, Epps moved to Brooklyn to perform stand-up comedy on the HBO series Def Comedy Jam. He joined the company’s tour the following year and starred in two of its broadcasts.

Two years later, Epps appeared in the Vin Diesel film Strays and first appeared on Ice Cube’s radar. After attending one of Epps’ stand-up sets, the rapper asked him to audition as Day-Day Jones for the comedy movie Next Friday. Epps secured the role and began making a name for himself as an actor.

Later in 2000, Epps appeared in the comedy 3 Strikes and Bait, an action film starring Jamie Foxx. The next year, he appeared in the movie How High and voiced Sonny the Bear in Dr. Dolittle 2. In 2001, Epps and Ice Cube reunited as co-stars in All About the Benjamins, collaborating again the following year on Friday After Next.

Epps appeared in a number of other films and TV shows throughout the early 2000s. Among these were The Fighting Temptations, Judge Mooney, The Honeymooners and The Boondocks. In 2006, Epps starred in the series The Unsuccessful Thug, after which he would name his autobiography. 2008 brought the movie Open Season 2 and Epps’ second bear-voicing gig. Epps hosted the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2010 and subsequently released his stand-up comedy special Under Rated & Never Faded

In 2012, Epps assumed his first non-comedic role in the remake of Sparkle. Starring alongside Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston, Epps was praised for his performance as the antagonist Satin. He received further positive reviews as Black Doug in The Hangover Part III (2013). Throughout 2014 and 2015, Epps held various small roles, acting as Principal Rogers in School Dance and Sheriff Emmit Till in Stealing Cars. He also appeared in the music video for “Ayo” by Chris Brown and Tyga.

2016 was a momentous year for Epps’ career. He appeared as a neighbor in What Are the Chances? and went on to star in the TV series Uncle Buck. He also acted in the films Term Life, Nina, Meet the Blacks and Fifty Shades of Black. Additionally, Epps wrapped up his work on the show Survivor’s Remorse, of which he had been a part since 2014.

In 2017, Epps played Uncle Mitch in the short October London: Color Blind – Love. He also guest-starred on the show Star and appeared in the films Where’s the Money and Girls Trip. The latter was nominated for 38 awards and won 12, including those from BET, MTV, and the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).

2018 was another eclectic year for Epps. He acted in the video “Don’t Get Caught” and the short “SR3MM.” Additionally, he appeared in the movies Supercon, Love Jacked and Acts of Violence. He remained just as busy entering 2019, acting in the TV movie How High 2 and three other films: The Trap, Troop Hero and The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

It has been announced that Epps will portray Richard Pryor in Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? He is also set to appear in The House Next Door, The Cat and the Moon and Dolemite Is My Name, all of which are in the post-production stages.

Mike Epps Bio: Exclusive Interview on His Comedic Roots

In November 2018, Epps sat down with uInterview to discuss his path to fame. When asked how he got his start in comedy, Epps revealed that he had fooled around enough at his former job to be fired.

“I was on one of them jobs in the back,” Epps told uInterview exclusively. “I told the boss – I’m like, ‘Hey, man … I’m keeping the morale up on this job, because if I’m not making people happy and laugh … I don’t know how we’re gonna flip these burgers.” After cracking one joke too many, Epps decided it was time to take his talents elsewhere. Thus began his career in comedy.

“I’ve been acting a fool my whole life,” Epps explained to uInterview. “And now I’m getting paid to be a fool.”

Check out the full autobiographical interview here.

Mike Epps Bio: Music Career

Aside from comedy and acting, Epps is known for both his direct and indirect contributions to the music industry. In his youth, Epps founded Naptown Records in Indianapolis and signed local artist Phillip “Philthyphil” White to his label. He lost the $175,000 record deal in 2007 when White was charged with first-degree murder.

This setback did not deter Epps from working with musicians. He hosted the G Unit mixtape Elephant in the Sand and appeared on their track “Hollow Thru Him.” He collaborated with Pooh Bear on the song “Trying to Be a Gangster.”  In 2007, Epps re-recorded the Bow Wow and Yung Joc song “Big Girls.” His only other solo work is the 2009 track “Ain’t Chu You?”

More recently, a number of rappers have sampled Epps’ stand-up routines in their music, including French Montana and J. Cole. Epps has also appeared in music videos such as Kendrick Lamar’s “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and 21 Savage’s “Bank Account.”

Mike Epps Bio: Personal Life, Partners, Children

Epps has been in the public eye for more than acting. In 2012, he served as the Super Bowl Ambassador in Indianapolis and appeared in promotions for the Super Bowl Village. Two years later, he and his bodyguards attacked comedian LaVar Walker for a parody video he made about Epps, resulting in Epps’ arrest.

Another scandal arose in 2017 when Epps brought a kangaroo onstage during a show against its will. Members of the audience noted the animal’s distress and demanded an apology from Epps. Epps has faced criticism for mocking disabled children in his stand-up routines.

Epps met actress Mechelle McCain in 2003 on the set of The Fighting Temptations. They married three years later, residing in Beverly Hills, and divorced in September 2017. Epps has four daughters: Bria, Maddie, Makayla and Mariah.

Mike Epps Bio: Quotes

“To have longevity in this business, you have to reinvent yourself. You can’t keep doing the same stuff. Sometimes I’ve turned down stuff and lost money.”

“I watch old-school film so that I can learn so much that I just sort of miss all the new stuff.”

“I learned that you don’t have to be all over the place, that you can be subtle and you can say what you say. The words that you put together can be just as hilarious as falling all over the place or doing something.”

“Everybody that’s living in this earth is living in a situation. It’s not narrow-minded to the point where everybody is serious and nobody has a personality. I think people die telling jokes.”