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Confessions of a “Selfie Dad”

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Comedian & Actor; Selfie Dad (Kappa Studios, 2020); War Room (Sony, 2015)

Has appeared on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, The Late, Late Show, Oprah

Performed at The Improv, The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store

DVD: Comedy: The Road Less Traveled (directorial debut); was featured in Thou Shalt Laugh 4

Children’s book author, The Parts We Play

Married with five kids.

SELFIE DAD
Selfie Dad, available on Premium VOD (video on demand) beginning June 19th, is an inspirational family film about a dad dealing with a mid-life crisis. Ben Marcus (Michael Jr.) is a husband and father who has a lot to be thankful for, but despite everything he has achieved, he isn’t happy. Working as an award-winning editor for the TV show, Rosies Roses (Chonda Pierce plays Rosie), Ben decides to fill the hole in his life by fulfilling his long set aside dream of becoming a comedian. After hearing his son talk about people getting paid on YouTube, he starts his own channel. Much to his surprise (and his daughter’s embarrassment), a video of Ben goes viral but not in the way he expected. Just like that, his new career as “Selfie Dad” takes off, and before Ben knows it, he’s a social media phenomenon. With his newfound fame, Ben is still unhappy. His coworker, Mickey, is a brash IT guy who’s studying to be a pastor and he knows exactly what’s missing from Ben’s life. So, he begins witnessing to Ben.

At its heart, the Selfie Dad movie is an inspiring story about the power of the Bible told through humor and compassion. Traditionally, faith-based films with a strong message are dramas; however, Selfie Dad aims to bring healing and understanding through laughter. Especially, during the COVID 19 crisis when people need a reason to laugh more than ever.  Michael Jr. explains, “What better time than Father’s Day for your whole family to enjoy a fun and uplifting story of a dad disconnecting and reconnecting with his family . . . because he reconnected with what matters most.” This makes this movie part of a bigger movement of fathers’ being all-in by investing in the spiritual growth of the entire family. 

When Kayne West heard about the movie, he offered one of his songs, Use This Gospel, to help support the message.

A CLEAN START
Michael, Jr. was a quiet kid growing up and realized for the first time he was funny in the 6th grade. As a teen, Michael made a pact with his childhood friend not to curse.  The no-cursing pact followed him throughout his career.  “I have no idea why we made that pact,” says Michael.  At the time, he knew nothing about the Lord. 

One night, Michael was in the movies with some friends when the film projector broke.  The audience became disgruntled.  Michael jumped up and took center stage in the theater.  He told a joke and kept it clean.  Everyone laughed.  When he saw the reaction of the audience to his joke, Michael said it was the “ultimate high.”  Michael says God was shaping him as a teen to one day perform clean comedy.

Michael’s break came when comedian George Wallace took him to the legendary Comedy and Magi Club in Hermosa Beach, home of Jay Leno and “The Tonight Show.”  The club’s owner slipped him on stage and a week later Michael was performing at “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal where he became the first comedian to appear live via satellite on “The Tonight Show.”  

FUNNY WITH A PURPOSE
Michael was getting recognition in the entertainment industry when he realized something was missing.  His manager invited him to church and though Michael felt like church was for sick or dying people, he went.  While listening to the pastor, Michael says "it made all kind of sense."  However, he decided to first read the Bible from cover to cover before making any decision.  After he read the whole Bible, Michael turned his life over to the Lord.  Sometimes comedians will ask him how he keeps his material so clean.  Michael says, “You can’t just be acting clean, you’ve got to BE clean.”  His versatility allows him to perform in clubs, universities, and church events.  "If I'm in a club, my material has to be clean enough to work in a church.  If I’m in a pulpit, it has to be funny enough to work in a club.”

 

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