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Biography | Posted: Thursday, 10th December

Bobby Lee (American actor) Bio, Facts. 

Bobby Lee
Pseudonym "The Slept King"
Birth name: Robert Young Lee Jr.
Born/Date of Birth: September 17, 1971
Place of Birth: San Diego, California, United States
Height: 1.64 m
Medium: Stand-up, film, television, podcast
Nationality: American
Genres: Observational comedy, black comedy
Subject(s): Human behavior, human sexuality, American politics, gender differences
Partner: Khalyla Kuhn
Parents: Jeanie Lee, Robert Lee
Siblings: Steve Lee
Robert Young Lee Jr. (born September 17, 1971) is an American actor, comedian and podcaster, best known for being a cast member on MADtv from 2001 to 2009 and for his roles in the films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Pineapple Express (2008), and The Dictator (2012). Between 2018 and 2019, Lee co-starred in the ABC single-camera sitcom series Splitting Up Together alongside Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson.

In 2016, Lee started a weekly podcast titled TigerBelly, which currently has over 472,000 subscribers and over 87 million views on YouTube as of October 4, 2020.

Early life and education
Lee was born Robert Young Lee, Jr. (이승우) in San Diego County, California to parents Jeanie and Robert Lee. He and his younger brother grew up in Poway, California. Lee attended Painted Rock Elementary School, Twin Peaks Middle School, and Poway High School. In high school, he was part of a breakdancing team. At 18, Lee moved out of his parents' home and took jobs in restaurants and coffee shops in the San Diego area while attending Palomar College. He later dropped out.

Lee's Korean American parents owned clothing stores in both Escondido and Encinitas, California. His mother currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Lee's younger brother, Steve Lee, is a musician and host of The Steebee Weebee podcast. Steve has also made guest appearances alongside Bobby on MAD Tv, especially in sketches featuring Kim Jong Il and Tank.

Lee worked various jobs at cafes and restaurants before pursuing a career in comedy. In 1994, the coffee shop he was working at abruptly closed. "I just went next door to get a job," he said, "which was The Comedy Store in San Diego" (also known as the La Jolla Comedy Store). After a few months of working odd jobs at the club, he decided to try stand-up during one of their amateur nights. Within a year of doing regular comedy sets, he received offers to open for both Pauly Shore and Carlos Mencia. Lee went on to work regularly at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, a comedy club owned by Pauly Shore's mother Mitzi.

Lee has admitted in several interviews that his parents had hoped he would continue on with the family business and were less than supportive of his comedic pursuits at first. During a podcast interview conducted by fellow actor and comedian Joe Rogan on February 1, 2011, Lee stated that during the first few years he did stand-up his parents barely spoke to him, however after his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno his father called him and asked how much he had to pay to be on the show and then apologized for not supporting his comedy career.

Lee is known to include his family in some of his work; his younger brother has appeared in several non-speaking roles on MADtv and his entire family has appeared in a sketch on the show. Lee also pitched a sitcom to Comedy Central in 2007 about a Korean family which was to star his very own family.

Lee hosted the 9th MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert in 2013.

In 2020, Lee began co-hosting the Bad Friends podcast with Andrew Santino.

In 2001, Lee joined the cast of MADtv, Some of Lee's recurring characters included:

Character name Description
Kim Jong-il Host of the imaginary Kim Jong-il Show
Connie Chung Journalist
Bae Sung The hapless interpreter
Tank Asian-American "Street Tuner" character in the style of the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Xing Lao "Johnny" Gan Host of Many Shows! With Johnny Gan and Pongo
"The Blind Kung-fu Master" Title character
Dr. Poon Ji-Sum Character on the Korean soap opera parody Taedo-Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive
Hideki "The Average Asian" Asian man whose friends think he adheres to the stereotypes associated with East Asian people
John McCain United States Senator from Arizona
Stewie Griffin Infant super-villain in a live-action re-creation of a scene from the Family Guy episode "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci High"
Yamanashi Student in gym class of Coach Hines (Keegan-Michael Key), who always gets yelled at and harassed by Coach Hines (whether or not he deserved it).

TigerBelly podcast
Hosted by: Bobby Lee and Khalyla Kuhn
Genre: Talk
Format: Audio & Video
Created by: Khalyla Kuhn
Language: English
Length: 60 – 90 min
Production: Bobby Lee
Khalyla Kuhn
Gilbert Galon
George Kimmel
Bryce Hallock
No. of episodes: 265 (as of October 4, 2020)
Original release: 2016 – present

TigerBelly is a video podcast hosted by Lee and his girlfriend, Khalyla Kuhn, which currently has over 470,000 subscribers and 87 million views on YouTube as of October 2020. Also on camera is actor and comedian Gilbert Galon, and behind the scenes producer and frequent on-screen personality, George Kimmel. Kuhn became interested in doing podcasts of her own after she was a guest on the DVDASA podcast. The show's intro song "Shadow Gook" was written and produced by Lee and performed by Lee and Kuhn. The hosts discuss events from their lives and news topics from popular culture, often revolving around Asian American issues related to the entertainment industry, adolescence, sexuality, ethnicity, racism, and politics. Towards the end of the show, host Galon reads listener questions, which are addressed in a segment jokingly referred to as "Unhelpful Advice". Periodically, the end of the show features a segment called "MMA minute" in which the hosts discuss mixed martial arts and the UFC.

Lee and Erik Griffin initially pitched a podcast to All Things Comedy and they were immediately signed but the two could never make the time to meet. Around this time Lee and Kuhn were visiting family in the Philippines, when Kuhn came down with serious heart trouble. She spent weeks in hospitals and couldn't return to her nursing job. She needed something to do to keep busy and so started her own podcast. Lee came on her show and the chemistry was so good that Lee decided to drop Griffin and instead focus on podcasts with Kuhn.

As TigerBelly grew, Lee and Kuhn needed an engineer to watch over the computer and consult on technical issues, so they asked Gilbert to handle the technical side of the podcast; Lee had met Gilbert at a viewing of a Manny Pacquiao fight. Lee met future TigerBelly producer, George Kimmel, when he was working on The Station comedy channel for Maker Studios, where Kimmel was working as a producer.

In 2016, the podcast was reported in multiple media outlets after guest Margaret Cho in Episode 71 recalled an email exchange between her and actress Tilda Swinton over the controversial Ancient One casting in Doctor Strange (2016).

Personal life
Addiction and sobriety
Lee began taking methamphetamine and marijuana around 12, and Heroin by age 15 and went through three drug-rehabilitation attempts, ending his meth abuse around 17. During his period of drug abuse, Lee claims that he not only competed in a wrestling tournament but won under the influence of methamphetamine and LSD. When he started MADtv, a producer told him that "he wasn't funny and that they wouldn't use him in the show very often." Lee relapsed on Vicodin and ended 12 years of sobriety. He got sober after MADtv producer Lauren Dombrowski fought for him after he was fired from the show a second time. Dombrowski died of cancer on October 8, 2008 in Los Angeles at the age of 51. Lee said that one of the only times he has ever cried was at Dombrowski's funeral. On TigerBelly Episode 224, Lee admitted to guest Theo Von that he had relapsed after his father's death in August 2019. At the time of recording, he was 11 days sober and had recently left rehab.

Lee has stated that he is a recovering alcoholic.

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