Joe Torry is the official host for the 2017 Krewe of Orléans Mardi Gras Ball.
Joe Torry was born and raised along with his brother, actor and comedian Guy Torry, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he earned a BA in mass communications/broadcast journalism. While attending school, Torry pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity. In 2001, Lincoln honored him with both The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2002 an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters. He was also inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2001. Torry has older son Kameron Torry from a previous relationship. He married Chrystal Benson and they have one son together : Joseph II. They currently reside in Los Angeles.
Torry began his acting career around the age of 23. He brought his own style of humor to such roles in films such as, Strictly Business and House Party . He also made guest appearances on television shows including ER, NYPD Blue, Girlfriends, NCIS, The Conan O’Brien Show, Jon Stewart, The Bryon Allen Show and became a crowd favorite on Def Comedy Jam. Appearing on earlier shows such as Roc and Amen jump started his television roles. It wasn’t until 1992 when Torry would receive his big break, he was given the job of hosting Def Comedy Jam after host Martin Lawrence left the show, further enlarging his exposure in the entertainment industry. This also brought Torry larger roles in newer movies. He starred in Motives 1 & 2, Lock Down, Hair Show, Mannsfield 12, Poetic Justice, Sprung, and Tales from the Hood among others. Torry has also appeared in various commercials for large corporations such as Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, and Nike.
Joe founded the Giving Back the Love Foundation in 1996. With this foundation, he gives back to his hometown community (St. Louis) through youth and community programs. Torry has recently developed and begun his own production company. His production company is called MO Films and he started it in 2003. With this company Torry plans to bring filmmaking to the Midwest and help other actors, musicians, and artist showcase their talent. He works many times with his brother, Guy. He has also been writing and producing projects for his company and plans on directing in the future.