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J-L Cauvin was born in 1979 in New York City to an Irish-American mother and a Haitian father. The second of two children (he has an older brother), J-L’s parents decided he was enough, probably because he weighted 10 lbs, 7 oz at birth. While in school, J-L mainly cultivated a reputation as a joker with a wide array of impersonations of teachers, coaches and fellow students. He can be found in the center of the back row of every class photo because he was always the tallest kid in class. Among the highlights of his elementary school career were being taller than his third grade teacher (he was 5’2″ in 3rd grade and his teacher was 5’1″), chasing a fellow student with an aluminum bat in 4th grade after a particular intense game of lunchtime baseball, and developing his Jean-Claude Van Damme impression in 5th grade.
After such an impressive record of accomplishments, high school could have been a letdown, but it was not. Co-Editor of his high school newspaper and giving the middle finger to an opposing crowd during a senior year basketball game were just two of the highlights. However, during high school J-L had no success with the ladies, which was in no way attributable to the large, puffy, bright, purple Utah Jazz jacket that he wore every day. After high school J-L went on to attend Williams College. While there he played on the varsity basketball team and continued to hone his impressions of people no one has ever heard of. Fortunately he was given a lot of time on the bench to work on voice inflections and he became known as one of the funniest people in his obscure college town of 8,000 in western Massachusetts. He also hosted a radio/comedy show for two years in college, during which he did many impressions and only received one racist phone call on air.
Upon graduating Williams in 2001, J-L went on to attend Georgetown University Law Center. He learned quickly that the only difference between a law school and a law center is that law centers suck more. It was also during his time in Washington, D.C. that he began to perform standup comedy, with his law school transcript being the first joke he created.
In February 2003, J-L went to a bar near his apartment and watched an amateur showcase of comedians. J-L began inquiring how he could get some stage time and after following some leads he began performing at open mics at the end of that academic year. Quickly developing a knack for it, J-L was named Washington D.C.’s funniest college student, despite not really being a college student, in March 2004 at a sold out show at the D.C. Improv. After moving back to New York upon graduation from GULC in May 2004, J-L continued to work harder and harder as a comic, all while working as an Assistant District Attorney during the day in the Bronx. After leaving the DA’s office, but before pursuing comedy full time, J-L also did some work in private practice where he learned two things: that he really did not enjoy the law and that he was actually the office “black guy”. He has been featured on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, NESN Comedy All Stars, Comics Unleashed, The Dan Lebatard Show and is a regular on The Adam Carolla Show. J-L now travels the country performing in America’s most prestigious (and non-prestigious) comedy clubs. Despite all this, he can still be found most nights bitching about something in the back room of a bar or the basement of a taco restaurant on stage for 5-8 minutes. He fully intends to not keep it real the day he makes it big.
J-L’s act is incredibly diverse and has led to four stand up albums: 2006’s Racial Chameleon, 2008’s Diamond Maker, 2012’s Too Big To Fail and 2013’s Keep My Enemies Closer, which reached #12 on the iTunes Comedy charts. He has also been featured in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jokes.