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10 Comics to Watch: Ron Funches’ Teddy-Bear Persona Anything but ‘Undateable’

10 COMICS TO WATCH: Easygoing style works better for 'shy space cadet'

On stage, Ron Funches’ warm, teddy-bear persona and low-key, unhurried delivery and double entendres ensure that his deadpan R-rated zingers (check out his “Fuck Linda neck tattoo” and “Fat Pussy” bits) wouldn’t offend a church lady.

It’s an art he’s been honing for eight years since the Chicago native — whose appearances on “Conan” and “Chelsea Lately” are far removed from the days of being a “shy teenager” — relocated to Oregon and started working clubs in Portland.

“Originally I tried to be more high-energy, more aggressive, like a lot of black comedians I saw, but it just wasn’t me,” says Funches, 31, whose easygoing manner made him a natural fit as the “nerdy, shy space cadet” Shelley opposite fellow nerds Brent Morin and Rick Glassman on NBC’s “Undateable.”

SEE ALSO: Gallery: Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch

“It wasn’t a big stretch, and I love doing the show as we get to improv a lot, although they only keep about 30% from the taping. We have to tone it down,” says Funches, who recently shot his first comedy special for Comedy Central. He also just scored his first movie, “Get Hard,” a comedy with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart out next March, play- ing very much against type. “I’m a gang-banger — which I know nothing about,” he says. “But I do know I want to do more movies. It was so cool.”

INFLUENCES: Lucille Ball, Dave Chappelle, Mitch Hedberg
REPS: Agency: APA; Manager: Melanie Truhett-Posehn, Truhett/Garcia Management Lawyer: Lev Ginsburg, Ginsburg Daniels

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