Michael Elliot Epps (born November 18, 1970) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, film producer, writer, and rapper. He is best known for playing Day-Day Jones in Next Friday and its sequel, Friday After Next, and also appearing in The Hangover as "Black Doug". He was the voice of Boog in Open Season 2 (replacing Martin Lawrence). As of 2010, Epps was the executive producer on a documentary about the life story of a former member of Tupac Shakur's Outlawz, Napoleon: Life of an Outlaw. He is also known for playing Lloyd Jefferson "L.J." Wade in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) respectively.
Epps was born at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Mary Reed and Tommy Epps. Epps and his family later moved to Roosevelt Island, New York. Epps' natural comedic ability was encouraged at an early age, and he began performing stand-up as a teenager at comedy clubs in Hollis, Queens. Epps moved to Atlanta where he worked at the Comedy Act Theater, before moving to Brooklyn to star in Def Comedy Jam in 1995. Epps ended up on the Def Comedy Jam tour and starred in two of HBO's Def Comedy Jam broadcasts.
Epps began his professional career by joining the Def Comedy Jam tour in 1995 and starred in two of HBO's Def Comedy Jam broadcasts. He has been criticized by disability campaigners for mocking physically and mentally disabled children.
Epps' first on-screen appearance came in Vin Diesel's directorial debut, Strays in 1997.
In 1999, Epps was then cast as Ice Cube's co-star (effectively, Chris Tucker's replacement) in the sequel, Next Friday. This came after weeks of auditions after Ice Cube attended a stand-up set Epps did, and then asked Epps to try out for the role of Day-Day Jones. His role as Day-Day Jones was a breakthrough for the new actor, who was already familiar to much of the audience from his stand-up work. Later that year, Epps had a cameo in 3 Strikes, and supported Jamie Foxx in Bait.
Epps had a voice role in the 2001 movie Dr. Dolittle 2 as Sonny the Bear and finished the year with a featured role as comical pimp Baby Powder in How High, starring Method Man and Redman. Epps reunited with Ice Cube in 2002 as the bumbling thief to Ice Cube's bounty hunter in All About the Benjamins, and again re-teamed with Cube in Friday's second sequel Friday After Next.
Epps also got to voice another bear character (Boog) in the 2008 film Open Season 2 after Martin Lawrence declined the role. In 2010, Epps also released a stand-up comedy special, Under Rated & Never Faded, and hosted the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Epps' name has become synonymous with a particular style of humor, through his appearance with several other African-American artists in the same genre. Aside from featuring Cube, the common thread of these films was the hilarious prominence of marijuana-smoking comic characters, like the ones portrayed by Epps.
Epps most recently starred alongside Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the 2012 remake of Sparkle, in his first non-comedic role as the main antagonist, Satin. A stand-up comic by day, an evil and abusive drug kingpin by night in engaged in an affair with the titular character's sister. Epps' performance was well received by critics and audiences.
Epps is currently working on a baseball-themed movie, entitled Bad Behavior, alongside teen quartet Mindless Behavior, in which he plays their coach, André Parker.
On August 26, 2014, it was announced that Epps landed the coveted role of Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic directed by Lee Daniels, despite Nick Cannon very publicly campaigning for the role and Pryor's family stating that Marlon Wayans or Terrence Howard should get the role. Epps will star alongside Oprah Winfrey, who will play Pryor's abusive grandmother Marie Carter.
Epps recently had a small part in the song A Bay Bay by Hurricane Chris, doing the Rick James move. He appeared in the music video "Gangsta Nation" by Westside Connection. He also hosted a Jim Jones and Skull Gang album entitled Jim Jones & Skull Gang Present A Tribute To Bad Santa Starring Mike Epps. Epps has also made a song called "Trying to Be a Gangsta" with Pooh Bear.
Epps also hosted G Unit's 2008 mixtape Elephant In The Sand, appearing on the track Hollow Thru Him. Epps also has a song called "Big Girls", which came out in 2008. It was originally recorded by Bow Wow featuring Yung Joc. The song is currently on iTunes and can be found on his album, Funny Bidness: Da Album, which was released October 27, 2009. Epps also has featured in rapper French Montana's Mac Wit Da Cheese mixtape, which was released on April 19, 2009.
Epps is also featured on the Dom Kennedy song "Intro/Hard Work" on his FutureStreet/DrugSounds mixtape.Part of his standup in Under Rated & Never Faded was sampled for the song "I'm on Everything" by Bad Meets Evil on their second LP, Hell: The Sequel. Also on Runaway, Born Sinner the second album from J.Cole. Mike Epps was also known in his hometown of Indianapolis as the CEO of Naptown Records.In 2006 he signed local artist Philthyphil. This artist had just been released from prison after serving 3 years for a drug indictment in which Philthyphil was the suspected distributor of large amounts of narcotics.The record deal which was reportedly worth $175,000 was later terminated after Phillip "Philthyphil" White was charged with 1st degree murder in Oakland, CA in 2007.Reports state that Phillip"Philthyphil" White was also said to be the sole mastermind behind the drug distribution which ran as far as Atlanta, Georgia and his hometown of Muncie, Indiana.
Epps appears in the Tee Grizzley music video of "No Effort". He also appears in 21 Savage's "Bank Account" music video.
Super Bowl XLVI
Epps served as the "Super Bowl ambassador" in his native Indianapolis for the 2012 Super Bowl. He was featured in commercials promoting the Super Bowl Village and he made special appearances in the Village during the week of the Super Bowl.
2014 Atlanta incident
On June 1, 2014, Epps purportedly assaulted fellow stand-up comedian LaVar Walker outside of the Uptown Comedy Club. It was stated Epps and two of his bodyguards did this in response to Walker making a parody video about Epps and comedian Kevin Hart. Epps allegedly struck him in the face and kicked him in the stomach and back, while one of the other two men threw the victim's cellphone and crushed his prescription glasses. Atlanta Police issued a warrant for Epps' arrest two days later on June 3.
Around mid-2017, Epps received criticism for bringing a kangaroo onto the stage during one of his shows. Many noted the animal looked distressed, with Mike grabbing and holding it against its will. He later apologized, saying it was completely unscripted and that he would never hurt an animal.
Epps married Mechelle McCain in July 2006; they lived in Beverly Hills, California together until 2017. He met her while filming The Fighting Temptations (in which they appeared alongside Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé). McCain had a minor, non-speaking role in the movie as Epps' character's girlfriend. Mike and Mechelle divorced in September 2017.
"Whatchulookinat" - Whitney Houston
"Ay Bay Bay" — Hurricane Chris
"Gangsta Nation" — Westside Connection
"Why We Thugs" — Ice Cube
"What You Know" — T.I.
"ASAP" — T.I.
"Never Forget" — Napoleon
"I'm Lit" — Square Off
"I Don't Know Y'all" — Young Dro
"Mrs. Right" — Mindless Behavior featuring Diggy Simmons
"Nothin'" – NORE
"I'm on Everything" – Bad Meets Evil
"How Come You Don't Call Me" – Alicia Keys
"Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" - Kendrick Lamar
"I Was Your Baby"- Angie Stone
"No Flex Zone!" - Rae Sremmurd
"Ayo" - Chris Brown and Tyga
"No Effort" - Tee Grizzley
"Bank Account" - 21 Savage