A former 'comedian', now actor, whose act was based on being vaguely un-PC about the subjects of smoking, drinking, eating meat etc.

In fact large portions of his No Cure For Cancer album/video/book are almost word-for-word rip-offs of material by Bill Hicks, except that Leary has none of Hicks' sense of timing, little connection with the audience, no on-stage persona other than anger, and, crucially, cuts out anything remotely 'intellectual' from Hicks' material.

So while Hicks seemed to consider himself as much a poet and philosopher as a comedian, Leary removes the material about the nature of god, about politics, about freedom, about the ruling powers, about everything in fact that made Hicks great, and leaves in the jokes about smoking and the dick jokes, and other network-friendly material....

(For an example of how much Leary ripped off Hicks, compare their routines on Jim Fixx)

It has been said by many that the only reason Leary, rather than Hicks, became a star, is that there's No Cure For Cancer...


Denis Leary was born in 1958 to John and Nora Leary, two Irish immigrants. Denis was raised in Worcester and attended Saint Peter Marion High School. Later, Leary would attend Emerson College in Boston.

After college, Denis wrote and acted a bit, but mostly taught at the college, where he was a charter member of Emerson's Comedy Workshop. In five years Denis would quit his job at the college and continue in stand-up comedy as well as writing pieces for magazines.

In 1987 Denis got his first gig on the MTV gameshow Remote Control, which was hosted by comedian and SNL veteran Colin Quinn, at one point. Denis would portray several different characters that would ask questions to the contestants. Leary also worked alongside Adam Sandler, as he was also on Remote Control doing the same thing.

Leary's face became instantly recognizable as he performed in a series of sketches for the fledgeling MTV channel. He would pace back and forth puffing on his cigarette ranting about a naked Cindy Crawford and Eskimo Pies (thanks OJ.

In 1990, Denis, along with his wife, Ann, flew to London, England for a performance in the BBC's Paramount City. While in London, Ann went into labor. This caused Denis to be waylayed in England for a while. With nothing to do besides take care of his wife and kid, Denis started writing what would become the hilarious No Cure For Cancer stand-up comedy special.

At the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, Denis performed No Cure For Cancer alongside Chris Phillips and Adam Roth on guitar. It would be here that he would perform Asshole, Leary's tribute to the American asshole, and how much fun it is to be one. The video of the concert includes extra footage that was not availible on CD or cassette, which sucked for me because I had the cassette :^( Anywho, No Cure For Cancer ranged on topics from drugs, to smoking, to smoking pot, to meat, including Denis' ideal male restaraunt, and four songs, Asshole, Downtrodden Song, Traditional Irish Folk Song, and Voices in My Head. While the Downtrodden Song was funny the first time, and considering how whack the Traditional Irish Folk Song was, Denis should stick to stand-up and not song. The VHS version of this show also contained two other subjects for his stand up, the French, along with the croissandwhich, and his son. I do not know why they were not included on the audio only formats, although my guess is time constraints.

No Cure For Cancer had turned Leary into a star. He slowly began working in movies. His first role was as Mike McCracken on the action/cop movie spoof Loaded Weapon 1, starring Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson. His next big movie would be Demolition Man, starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock. Leary would not make a real comedic splash until he starred in The Ref as Gus, a bungling Burglar who ends up taking a family hostage. In a strange turn of events Gus assume the role of their marriage counselor and, as usual, hilarity ensues.

In 1997, Leary would follow up No Cure For Cancer with another stand-up spectacular called Lock 'N Load. Lock 'N Load followed the same formula with a mixture of songs and rants about things he thought needed to be pointed out. This time, Leary talks about Santa on his beer, Marv Albert, coffee, the Lord of the Dance and of course, how badly Life's Gonna Suck.

Recently, co-starred in the computer animated homeward bound flick called Ice Age, which totally rocked. Leary was the shifty eyed sabre tooth tiger named Diego. Currently, Leary hosts a show called Contest Searchlight on Comedy Central. The show currently plays after South Park, 10:30pm on Wednesdays. The show features Leary as he allows various people to showcase their TV show ideas. The shows play for 6 weeks regardless of whether or not people like them and I guess they narrow them down or something, not too sure.

In 2000, Denis founded The Leary Firefighters Foundation in Worcester, MA in honor of a tragedy which occurred in the previous year, claiming the lives of 5 firefighters. So far, the fund has raised over $750,000 which have gone to training facilities and new equipment for the firefighters. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the fund spread to include New York, and every family of every deceased firefighter from that day recieved a check for $3,500. Denis also sponsors a celebrity hockey game that takes place in Boston. Leary also hosts the Comics Come Home specials which feature Boston area comedians doing stand-up to benefit the Cam Neely Foundation.

Filmography & TVography:

Secret Lives of Dentists, The (2002) .... Slater
"Crank Yankers" (2002) TV Series (voice) .... Joe Smith
Ice Age (2002) (voice) .... Diego
Bad Boy (2002) .... Doug 'Dawg' Menford
AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001) (TV) .... Himself
Final (2001) .... Bill
"The Job" (2001) TV Series .... Mike McNeil
Double Whammy (2001) .... Ray Pluto
Lakeboat (2000) .... The Fireman
Lord Stanley's Cup: Hockey's Ultimate Prize (2000) (V) .... Himself
Sand (2000) .... Teddy
... aka Sandstorm (2000/II)
Company Man (2000) .... Officer Fry
... aka Company Man (2000) (France)
"Comics Come Home" (1999) TV Series .... Host
Do Not Disturb (1999) .... Simon
... aka Silent Witness (1999) (USA: video title)
Jesus' Son (1999) .... Wayne
Thomas Crown Affair, The (1999) .... Detective First Grade Michael McCann
True Crime (1999) .... Bob Findley, Oakland Tribune City Editor
A Bug's Life (1998) (voice) .... Francis
Small Soldiers (1998) .... Gil Mars
Wide Awake (1998) .... Mr. Beal
Love Walked In (1998) .... Jack Morrisey
Snitch (1998) .... Bobby O'Grady
... aka Monument Ave. (1999) (USA: new title)
Wag the Dog (1997) .... Fad King
Denis Leary: Lock 'N' Load (1997) (TV) .... Himself
MatchMaker, The (1997) .... Nick
Real Blonde, The (1997) .... Doug
Suicide Kings (1997) .... Lono Veccio
Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground (1997) (TV) .... Guy in Wheelchair (segment "The Red Shoes")
Second Civil War, The (1997) (TV) .... Vinnie Franko
I Want My MTV (1996) (V) .... Nicotine Fiend
Underworld (1996) .... Johnny Crown/Johnny Alt
Two if by Sea (1996) .... Francis Michael 'Frank/Frankie' O'Brien
... aka Stolen Hearts (1996)
Favorite Deadly Sins (1995) (TV) .... Jake
... aka National Lampoon's Favorite Deadly Sins (1995) (TV) (USA: complete title)
Neon Bible, The (1995) .... Frank
... aka Biblia de neón, La (1997) (Spain)
Operation Dumbo Drop (1995) .... David Poole
... aka Dumbo Drop (1995)
Natural Born Killers (1994) (uncredited) .... Prison inmate (director's cut)
The Ref (1994) .... Gus
... aka Hostile Hostages (1994)
Gunmen (1994) .... Armor O'Malley
Judgment Night (1993) .... Fallon
Demolition Man (1993) .... Edgar Friendly
Who's the Man? (1993) .... Sergeant Cooper
Sandlot, The (1993) .... Bill
... aka Sandlot Kids, The (1993)
Loaded Weapon 1 (1993) .... Mike McCracken
... aka National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
Denis Leary: No Cure for Cancer (1992) (TV) .... Himself
MTV Video Music Awards 1992 (1992) (TV) .... Presenter
"Paramount City" (1991) TV Series .... Host
... aka "London Underground" (1991)
Strictly Business (1991) .... Jake
"Remote Control" (1987/II) TV Series .... Various Roles/Himself

abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/2020/ PrimetimeQA_010308_leary_feature.html

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