Kevin James is a highly successful comedian who started out the old-fashioned way. He performed at open-mikes and did standup for years before he became successful. Kevin has gone far from his days in front of the microphone. He has landed roles in movies and even his own show, although he is still performing and doing standup as much as he can.
Kevin James was born in Mineola, New York on April 26, 1965 and raised in Stony Brook, New York. His birth name was Kevin George Knipfing. Kevin attended Cortland University and played the position of fullback on their football team. While pursuing a major of sports management, Kevin decided that college was not for him and dropped out after three years. He returned home, and it was there that he realized his love for comedy.
Kevin decided to try out for the community theater to break his boredom in the summer. He had a comedic role in his first play and loved it, especially with the crowd's enthusiastic reaction. He enjoyed it so much that he joined his brother's, comedian Gary Valentine's, improv group. They began going to clubs together and performing, and Kevin realized he had a talent for comedy.
Eventually, Kevin went out on his own and did standup for 11 years. Comedy is a tough business, but he was able to be fairly successful at standup. He appeared on Star Search in 1983, but Kevin's big break came in 1996 when he won at the 'Just for Laughs' Montreal Comedy Festival. He has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, and the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
After the Montreal Comedy Festival, Kevin began landing bit parts in shows like Becker and Everybody Loves Raymond. He had met Ray Romano on the comedy circuit years before, and in 1996, he began a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond. In 1998, Kevin James got his own show King of Queens and became a household name.
While doing his own show, Kevin has many other television and movie credits to his name. He had a one hour comedy special 'Sweat the Small Stuff' which aired on Comedy Central. In 2004, Kevin had a small part in the movie 50 First Dates. He was the host of the People's Choice Awards in 2001 and 2002. Kevin was also a presenter at the 2001 Grammy Awards and the American Comedy Awards. In 2001, he was named in Entertainment Weekly's 'The 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment'.
Despite being very busy, Kevin James has a successful personal life as well. In June of 2004, Kevin was married to his long-time girlfriend, model Steffiana De La Cruz. Kevin James's success has been hard earned but well deserved. Despite having his own show, a new family, and various other projects, Kevin James says that he will always continue to do standup.