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Life With Bonnie
Second City
National Lampoon

Chris Barnes moved from his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania to New York City in 1977. At the tender age of 17, he began his professional comedy career, doing srand-up at Catch A Rising Star under the tutelage of Richard Belzer. Soon afterward, he took a job working at WPIX in New York. At WPIX, he produced live concert radio shows including the B-52's, The Police and Debbie Harry.

While the plaster was still being poured at the offices of MTV, Barnes became their first writer. While writing commercial spots for the revolutionary music network, he also spent his time developing pilot radio shows for Rolling Stone Radio Productions and for National Lampoon Productions. Barnes solidified his relationships with many of the era's greatest comedians. He became a protege of The Murrays, The Ackroyds and The Belushis.

Barnes went on to write three short films for Saturday Night Live and wrote James Belushi's highest Q-rated piece, "Rappin Jimmy B". He also became a weekly apprentice writer/ performer at Saturday Night Live. He continued to write for the National Lampoon, Rolling Stone and MTV. However, after getting a taste of seeing his own writing performed, Barnes decided to learn the craft of performing sketch comedy.

Barnes moved to Chicago and began at the bottom, washing dishes, as part of the Second City training program. At the same time, Barnes began his training under the tutelage of Del Close, developing the long form improvisation now known as HAROLDS at the Improv Olympic in Chicago. Barnes was a founding member of The Barons Barracudas, the first ImprovOlympic HAROLD team. Back at Second City, Barnes quickly worked his way up from the kitchen to the workshop, then the touring company to E.T.C., to Second City's Mainstage and finally receiving a Jeff award for best actor. This award was presented to him by Lily Tomlin. Together with Dave Mason, Barnes recorded "The Prez" a rap parody of the 1984 presidential elections which became a hit novelty single.

As a result of his performance at Chicago's Second City, Barnes was chosen with Bonnie Hunt (Jerry McGuire), Richard Kind (Spin City), Ryan Stiles (The Drew Carey Show) and Deb Thaeker (Waiting for Guffman) to come to Los Angeles to open Second City West. Second City's Mayfair Theatre shows, and Barnes' work in particular, were highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. One network executive even hailed Barnes as "the single most brilliant comic I have ever seen in this setting... still the driving force behind the company - no one comes close. His range is astounding - he has the mark of greatness about him that all major comics share ... Amazing". Dan Ackroyd, Robin Williams, Martin Short and other top Hollywood comedians often dropped in to the late night Second City shows and joined Barnes and his fellow members on stage to battle wits.

Barnes guest starred on television sit-coms including Who's The Boss, Seinfeld, and Baghdad Cafe which starred Whoopi Goldberg. He also appeared in films including "Taking Care of Business" with Jim Belushi and Triple Cross", a martial arts film in which he was able to use his black belt karate skills. Barnes joined Carol Burnett as a cast member of her last variety show on CBS.

Barnes has since served as Artistic Director of National Lampoon's comedy workshops and Second City's comedy workshops. He conceived, co-produced and directed National Lampoon's "Lemmings II"; a comedy and rock and roll jam which featured Irene Cara, Jim Belushi and first brother, Roger Clinton. He has completed filming the National Lampoon films, "Bikini Squad" and "National Lampoon's Last Resort". In December of 1997, Barnes finished filming "The Florentine" in which he co-starred with Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Tom Sizemore, Mary Stuart Masterson, Virginia Madsen and Luke Perry. In June of 1998, Barnes wrapped "Angels Dance" with Jim Belushi, Kyle Chandler and Sheryl Lee.

Barnes directed two stage shows for Comedy Central, "Lalapalooka", the mock rock comedy concert, which toured both coasts and "Lemmings" starring the late Chris Farley, Andy Richter and Tim Meadows, which ran at New York City's Bottom Line, to rave reviews.

Barnes also appeared in the MGM release of "Return To Me" starring Bonnie Hunt, Minnie Driver and David Duchovny. Barnes has just signed a production deal with MGM Television for a television series based on the Comedy Dojo. Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake will produce.

Currently Barnes can be seen on ABC's hit comedy series "Life With Bonnie", Tuesday at 9pm, as Marv "The Cue Card Guy".