Thomas Jacob "Jack" Black (born August 28, 1969) is an American comedian, actor and musician. He makes up one half of the comedy and satirical rock duo Tenacious D. The group has two albums as well as a television series and a film. His acting career is extensive, starring primarily as bumbling, cocky, but internally self-conscious outsiders in comedy films. He was a member of the Frat Pack, a group of comedians who have appeared together in several Hollywood films, and has been nominated for a Golden Globe award. He has also won an MTV Movie Award, and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. He also hosted the 2011 Kids Choice Awards.
Black was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of two satellite engineers, Judith (née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, and Thomas William Black. Black's mother is Jewish and his father converted to Judaism. On The Tonight Show, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name Blacksmith. Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother’s home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982, which was later shown during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and again on The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien. When Black entered high school, his parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school engineered specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system. Black also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment, at which point his father discontinued his financial support. Fellow UCLA alumnus Tim Robbins later cast Black in Bob Roberts. He also had recurring roles on the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show.
Black's acting career began with prime time television. He played roles on shows including Life Goes On, Northern Exposure, Mr. Show, Picket Fences, and The X-Files. Black appeared in the unaired TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.