Currently appearing in the ninth and final season of the Emmy-winning "The Office" on NBC, CRAIG ROBINSON portrays acerbic Dunder-Mifflin employee Darryl Philbin. He is definitely a world away from his original career intentions; before deciding to pursue his comedy career full time, Robinson was a K-8 teacher in the Chicago public school system. He earned his undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and his Masters of Education from St. Xavier University. It was while he was studying education in Chicago that he also discovered his love of acting and comedy when he joined the famed Second City Theatre.
Keeping him in the family, NBC has just ordered a single-camera comedy from "The Office" developer/executive producer Greg Daniels that will star Robinson as -- loosely based on his own past -- a talented musician with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school. The Untitled Craig Robinson Project will go into production this Spring; Robinson will also serve as a producer.
As a stand-up comedian, Robinson first made his mark in the comedy circuit at the 1998 Montreal "Just For Laughs" Festival. That year, he also won the Oakland Comedy Festival Awards and the Miller Genuine Draft 1996 Comedy Search. He soon went on to perform his act on "The Jimmy Kimmel Show" and "Real Time with Bill Maher." Now headlining venues and festivals across the country, he does both solo acts as well as full-band sets -- "The Nasty Delicious" -- tying together his lyrical comedy with his finesse at the piano. Whether Robinson shows up with just his keyboard or also with his seven-man band, the clubs are packed to the brims with raucous laughter in response to the musical comedy on display.
His rise to success with "The Office" and his stand-up prowess quickly brought him to the forefront with industry comedy maven Judd Apatow. Robinson made audiences question their notions of vanity playing the sensitive bouncer in Knocked Up. He then kept audiences glued to their seats as one of the henchman hunting Seth Rogen and James Franco's bumbling stoner characters in Pineapple Express, and made fans squirm when he co-starred with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
In 2010, Robinson with Rob Corddry and John Cusack starred in the sleeper hit Hot Tub Time Machine for MGM and director Steve Pink. The story follows three grown-up men (Robinson, Corddry, and Cusack) as they visit the hot tub where they once partied, accidentally discover it is now a time machine, and travel back to their raunchy heyday in the mid-1980s. Fans voices spoke loudly, and early negotiations are currently in progress for a sequel.
Earlier this year, he was heard as a character in The Weinstein Company's first animated feature, Escape from Planet Earth. And in May, finally getting his due with his first leading man role: Robinson is starring in the comedy Peeples for Lionsgate and producer Tyler Perry. Playing a pushy boyfriend, Robinson surprises his fiance-to-be (Kerry Washington) who is on a trip home to visit her family and discovers that the family is not only surprised to see him, but has never even heard of him.
Robinson has made it a point to flesh out every element of his resume, turning in a hilarious cameo in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as one of the Tuskegee Airman, lending his comedy genius to fellow Apatow devotee Danny McBride in his HBO television series "East Bound & Down," and voicing several characters on "The Cleveland Show." Robinson was heard in the final chapter of the Shrek film series, Shrek Forever After, as one of the new characters being introduced to the repertoire, a member of the ogre clan and the camp's resident chef named "Cookie." And taking a dramatically different role, Robinson starred in the independent feature Father of Invention with Kevin Spacey and Camilla Belle.
Robinson's additional credits include the films The Goods with Jeremy Piven, Miss March, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girl, and television shows including "Friends," "The Bernie Mac Show," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He also turned up as a preacher in the demonstrative web video celebrity push in support of gay rights, "Prop 8: The Musical" with Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Robinson currently resides in Los Angeles.