Donnell Rawlings is an overnight success, a decade in the making. You've seen him on Chappelle's Show as Ashy Larry, the 1970's Jheri curled Beautiful, and numerous other characters he's played. Rawlings is the franchise player Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan wanted as a writer and prime time player on their team. Since Chappelle had business to take care of in Africa, Rawlings was asked to step into the huge shoes Chappelle left behind, to host Chapelle's Show.
His unique brand of observational humor earned Rawlings co-hosting duties on Egypt & Ashy in the Morning on Power 105, New York's #1 hip-hop and R&B radio station. Rawlings is currently filming Reality Bites Back, touring heavily with his stand up dates, starring in a series of promotional interstitials for MTV, and has completed three films in the past year. He also enjoyed reprising his character of Damien Day-Day Price on HBO's Emmy Award winning series The Wire during a three episode arc, during the show's final season from 2007-2008. In 2007, Rawlings co-created and starred in www.heavy.com's hit web series From Ashy to Classy, in which Rawlings portrays the loveable, yet clueless culture critic, Ashford Lawrence. The series was picked up for a second round of episodes and remains one of www.heavy.com's most popular shows.
Rawlings has performed his intelligently bold stand up throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. He has appeared on the award-winning Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent series, and has also appeared on CBS' Third Watch and the Emmy Award winning HBO Special, The Corner.
Growing up, this Washington, DC native used humor as a means of persuasion with the ladies and whipped out his wicked wit as a weapon of mass destruction in verbal battle. While in the Air Force, Rawlings' wordplay shot down more military personnel than the GI issued arms.
When Rawlings returned to the States and settled into civilian life, he decided to check out the local comedy scene in DC. He quickly became the official heckler as he ate comedians alive from the audience. One day, a local comedian challenged Rawlings to bring his act to the stage. Six months later, Rawlings was performing on HBO's Def Comedy Jam.
From his weekly guest appearances on New York's Hot 97 morning show, to his role in the blockbuster Spider-Man 2 and his position as resident Funny Guy on the Ricki Lake show, Rawlings' rise to stardom may not have been overnight, but the journey has given him the life experience to keep his humor edgy and relevant.
Rawlings' peers have noticed his talent and potential. Brennan, co-executive producer and co-head writer of Chappelle's Show, has said, "Whenever we put Rawlings in the game, he's going to hit a home run." Jamie Foxx says, "That guy is a beast!" Wayne Brady commented that Rawlings provides "amazing work on the show" and Chappelle feels that "Rawlings brings so much to the table, this very funny guy makes it look natural and easy."