He is a Tasmanian devil, a talented musician, an amazing actor, and a comedian who will make you cry!!
(Photo: Kevin Winter)
= Jack Black, was born as Thomas Jacob Black on August 28, 1969, son of satellite engineers Thomas William Black and Judith Love Cohen. He grew up in Santa Monica, California.
= Black was raised Jewish, attending Hebrew school and having a bar mitzvah. He attended Poseidon School, a private elementary school known for its progressive education, and later went to Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica.
= Black's parents divorced when he was 10, and his father then stopped practicing Judaism. He moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother's home.
= In 1987, Black joined the "Actors' Gang", a theater troupe founded by UCLA students, and appeared in a variety of stage productions. During an acting class, Jack Black met Kyle Gass, a fellow actor and musician.
= They formed the comedy rock duo "Tenacious D" in 1994, showcasing their musical and comedic talents through a mix of music and sketches. But we will come back to that later...
= Black gained recognition for his roles in various films, often bringing his unique comedic style to the characters he portrayed. His breakout film role came with "High Fidelity" (2000), in which he played a memorable supporting role.
= In 1995 and 1996, he gained recurring roles in the HBO sketch comedy series "Mr. Show". Which will later be the basis for the "Tenacious D" sketches.
= The movie "School of Rock" (2003) marked a significant milestone in his career, as he portrayed a musician who poses as a substitute teacher and forms a rock band with his students.
= He continued to star in a mix of comedy and adventure films, such as "Nacho Libre" (2006), "Tropic Thunder" (2008), "Gulliver's Travels" (2010), "Jumanji" (2017), and many, many more!!
= Black was nominated for two Golden Globes, and on September 18, 2018, Black was inducted into Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
= He lent his voice to the character "Po" in the successful "Kung Fu Panda" film series (2008-2016).
= Going back to "Actors' Gang", Black and Gass began working together and initiated several sketches together which very quickly made them the comic duo of the group. They also found out that they have a common and strong love for music and in 1994 they formed "Tenacious D", a comedic rock duo known for their humorous and often explicit lyrics.
= The name is derived from "tenacious defense", a phrase used by NBA basketball sportscasters Walt Frazier and Marv Albert to describe robust defensive positioning in basketball.
= In the early 1990s the two began writing music of their own. They eventually wrote their first song after Black had been dumped by his girlfriend, Melissa, and it was a non-comedic song.
= Their second song came about when Black was listening to the Metallica song "One" and told Gass that it was "the best song in the world". Gass told Black that they couldn't write the best song in the world, but Black put a twist on it and said they could "write a tribute". When the song was done, they "knew they had something". The song made the duo realize their comedic and musical potential.
= The duo started performing in local bars, in the "Actor's Gang" and the famous "AI's Bar", gaining momentum in the Los Angeles music scene.
= Black stated he didn't learn guitar until he was "around twenty-three years old", so would regularly visit Gass's Cochran Avenue studio apartment. They made a deal that Gass would teach Black to play guitar in return for food, mainly from the fast-food chain "Jack in the Box".
= Their first big shows were as an opening act for the band "Tool" in 1995 when Maynard James Keenan saw the duo in "Mr. Show" and invited them to open for their shows in California.
= In 1997, while a popular act on the Los Angeles music scene they performed residencies at The Viper Room. Pete Stahl, the vocalist of the band "Scream", worked at The Viper Room at the time and became a fan of Black and Gass. Stahl invited his friend Dave Grohl to come and see Tenacious D, and this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Grohl, Black, and Gass.
= This led to their cameo in the Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" music video.
= In the same year they recorded their first songs "Tribute", "Kyle Quit the Band", "Krishna" and "History" and released them in a demo tape called "Tenacious Demo", distributing it to various record companies, until HBO offered them a TV show based upon the tape and Black's work on Mr. Show. It was a three-episode TV series broadcasting between 1997 and 2000.
= The popularity of Tenacious D further increased in the late 1990s as they began to open for high-profile acts, including Beck, Pearl Jam, and Foo Fighters.
= In May 2000, "Tenacious D" signed to Epic Records. As Black's profile increased due to his roles in films the band worked on recording their first album with producers the Dust Brothers.
= In 2001, they released their debut album "Tenacious D". "Wonderboy" was the first single released from the album, followed by "Tribute". For the album they enlisted the help of drummer Dave Grohl, keyboardist Page McConnell of Phish, guitarist Warren Fitzgerald, and bass player Steven Shane McDonald.
= From the beginning, making a "Tenacious D" movie, was a dream of both Black and Gass. They started working on the script in late 2000 and in 2003 they signed with "New Line Cinema" to produce the movie. The filming began in 2004 and was directed by Liam Lynch, the band's music videos director. The movie "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny" came out in November 2006 and included many guest and cameo appearances by Ronnie James Dio, Dave Grohl, Ben Stiller, and Meat Loaf.
= The movie was a huge "box office bomb" (huge commercial failure), it grossed $8M in the US and Canada and a total of $13M worldwide, falling well short of its $20M production budget and $40M in estimated marketing costs. But it later became a cult movie among rock and metal music lovers.
= The duo released their second album which was the movie's soundtrack "The Pick of Destiny" in 2006. The album was produced by the Dust Brothers' John King, and includes appearances by Meat Loaf, Ronnie James Dio, and Dave Grohl and debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200.
= Tenacious D embarked on "The Pick of Destiny Tour", in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Following years of performing acoustic concerts featuring only Black and Gass with their acoustic guitars, this tour marked the inception of the now renowned and highly prosperous live show featuring a whole band on stage. This expanded setup incorporated costumes, lighting, fire, and smoke effects, as well as humorous sketches involving band members that were interwoven between songs. BTW, we also have in Israel an amazing group that knows how to do it, go in: Bring Tenacious D to Israel
= In November 2008 the band released the video album "The Complete Master Works 2". It features footage from the band's performances at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington, during The Pick of Destiny Tour. The release also features numerous bonus videos and "D Tour: A Tenacious Documentary".
= In May 2015 the band released its third studio album "Rize of the Fenix". The album marks the return of John Konesky (electric guitar), John Spiker (bass), and Dave Grohl (drums). The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 2013.
= In September 2018 the duo released the "Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto" animated show. It is an animatic 6-episode series released through the band's YouTube channel. The project was assembled by Black physically drawing each frame with markers and notepads, with longtime Tenacious D bassist and producer John Spiker scanning and digitalizing the images. Michael Molina would add color later on in the process.
= In November 2018 "Tenacious D" released their fourth album "Post-Apocalypto" which accompanied the animated episodes. Additionally, this album saw the participation of members from their earlier albums who contributed to the recordings.
= In December 2018, Black created a YouTube channel called "Jablinski Games". In just seven days following its debut, the channel garnered a subscription base exceeding one million. The content featured on this channel generally encompasses unscripted vlogs featuring Black and his two sons, as well as gaming-related material. The primary motivation behind Jack's creation of the channel was to foster a stronger connection with his son, who actively contributes as the channel's videographer and editor.
= In 2023 Black voiced Bowser in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" movie and performed the song "Peaches" which became one of the movie's cameos.