"Jack Black is an all time favorite film actor of mine."
Jack Black is a film actor and musician I really love. This makes writing about him a complete and utter pleasure for me. Because Jack's done so much excellent character work early in his career, I'm not exactly sure where I saw him first, but I do remember that I first NOTICED him when he played Barry in High Fidelity. Granted, High Fidelity is most likely "a guy's flick..." and I'm not normally attracted to those, but in this case I'm a big fan. I've always been a John Cusack fan, and this movie is a very interesting Cusack film in my humble opinion. One of the big reasons I enjoyed the film so much is the zany contribution from Jack. He's a nut, it shows, and I love that!
I have to be honest here...I've actually been told that I myself remind folks of Jack. We both share the "zany" gene as well as the "animated big guy" trait. In all the times I've been compared to someone famous, the notion that I was anything like Jack puts a rather large smile on my face.
The sometimes "William Shatner-esque" Jack Black
I have to also say, there's something about Mr. Black that sometimes reminds me of another legendary favorite of mine, Mr. William Shatner of Original Star Trek fame. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just seems as if Jack could be William's son, or a distant cousin or something.
Jack Black's Early Career
Early in life Jack started out with TV Appearances such as the Taxi Driver on The Golden Palace, a skinhead on Life Goes On, prom king Kevin Wilkens on Northern Exposure and Curtis Williams on Picket Fences. He then achieved many film character roles like Roger Davis in Bob Roberts (1992), Rick in The Cable Guy (1996), Billy Glenn Norris in Mars Attacks! (1996), J.D. in Saving Silverman (2001), Fiedler in Enemy of the State (1998) and his breakout role of Barry in High Fidelity (2000).
After High Fidelity's success, Jack started landing leading roles in movies. He starred in films like Shallow Hal (2001), Orange County (2002), School of Rock (2003), Envy (2004), King Kong (2005), Be Kind Rewind (2008), Kung Fu Panda (2008 - Voice) and The Holiday (2006). Jack was also the host for both the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards (Apr 2006 & Mar 2008) as well as the MTV Video Music Awards in August of 2006.
The "Frat Pack"
Taking its name from the legendary "Rat Pack" (Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop), and then the "Brat Pack" (Rob Lowe, Robert Downey, Jr., Judd Nelson, and Emilio Estevez) the "Frat Pack" is a group of Comedic Actors who worked together frequently.
The "Frat Pack" is...
- Owen Wilson
- Luke Wilson
- Ben Stiller
- Will Ferrell
- Steve Carell
- Jack Black
Jack Black TV Appearances
Jack has appeared on many TV Shows, including Saturday Night Live. He’s appeared a total of five times – three times as the host, once as the musical guest with Tenacious D, and once as Tenacious D, although Tenacious D was not the musical guest for the show.
Jack also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show called “Ellen the Musical.” He appeared alongside Kristin Chenoweth and Olivia Olson. They also discussed his upcoming film “Nacho Libre.”
Jack Black is the lead vocalist for a Rock-Comedy Duo called Tenacious D. He also plays guitar. Paired with straight man and killer lead guitarist Kyle Gass, their brand of music and comedy is simply outrageous and wonderful. Albeit on the vulgar side occasionally, their comedy style is to die for (in my humble opinion, of course).
One of the interesting characteristics of Tenacious D’s music is the almost ridiculously obvious influence of Ronny James Dio, and his ilk. The influence of Classically trained Rock Monsters is always abundant in this very interesting and funny music.
“D” as they're sometimes referred to by fans (like me!) has produced two albums to date – “Tenacious D” and “The Pick of Destiny.” Many songs from these two albums have been used in video game music. Their song “The Metal” from The Pick of Destiny can be heard in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. In Rock Band Unplugged you can hear “Rock Your Socks” from Tenacious D. “Master Exploder” from their 2nd Album, The Pick of Destiny can be heard in both Rock Band 2 as well as Guitar Hero Van Halen.
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
In 2006 Tenacious D inspired a feature film called “Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.” Directed by Liam Lynch, the film features such “D” songs as Tribute, Master Exploder and The Metal. The recurring characters “Lee the super fan” and “Sasquatch” also appear in the movie.
A very interesting group of celebrities also appear in cameo roles. Dave Grohl appears as Satan and Ben Stiller plays a Guitar Center Employee. (He also appears in “Tribute”) Tim Robbins also makes a wonderful cameo appearance in the film.
Tenacious D also gives a cameo performance in Pauly Shore’s Bio-Dome (1996). They perform “The Five Needs” in the film while attending a “Save the Environment” party.
Jack’s Musical Contributions
Jack, being the very strong lead vocalist that he is, has been featured on many other artist’s CD’s. He sang “I Am The Warlock” on Dave Grohl’s “Probot” album. He also did a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Of particular note is his collaboration with the Meat Loaf on his CD, “Hang Cool Teddy Bear.” He sings the duet “Like a Rose” with the Rock Legend. Interestingly, this CD also features Hugh Laurie, Steve Vai, Brian May, Kara Kioguardi and Patti Russo. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo.
Jack’s Music Videos
Jack has also appeared in several music videos. He’s appeared in “Photograph” by Weezer, “Things I Want” by Sum 41, “Push” by Dio as well as "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" by the Eagles of Death Metal.
Jack Black and his Comedy
Jack Black is one hell of an innovative and fresh comedic actor. His brand of comedy usually begins with what seems to be a straight ahead, “normal” premise. He and his partner in crime, Kyle Gass, then tear the premise apart with more and more insanity and craziness.
As I stated, I’ve always been a huge fan of both Jack Black and Kyle Gass, and I for one am very glad that they’re in the music and comedy business. If you ever get the chance to see them live, I would highly recommend it.
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