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The Real Reason Danny From #blackAF Looks So Familiar

The prolific comedy machine that is Kenya Barris just dropped a new sitcom on Netflix, and it's #blackAF.

Fresh off the successful triptych of Black-ish, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish (and the rich overall deal they earned him), Barris is stepping out in front of the camera for the first time to play a fictionalized version of himself on the new series. #blackAF isn't exactly autobiographical, but it does concern a wealthy entertainment industry family with six kids, and their comedic hijinks. Think of it as fiction-ish. 

All eight episodes of #blackAF landed on Netflix April 17, 2020 and, aside from the central cast of fictional Barrises, there are a few other actors who look pretty familiar. If you noticed a memorable mug on the recurring character Danny, that's because the part is played by writer, actor and comedian Gil Ozeri, and you've likely seen him before.

Gil Ozeri from #blackAF has a real sketch comedy pedigree

Long before Ozeri landed a role on Kenya Barris' latest comedic creation, he was involved with the prestigious improv and sketch comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade. UCB is famous for launching the careers of some of the most recognizable names in comedy, including Seth Morris (Happy Endings), Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Rec), Jason Mantzoukas (The Dictator), and Broad City co-creators and co-stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.

Ozeri has put his sketch comedy chops to work, appearing as a guest star on CollegeHumor Originals, Happy Endings, and two episodes of cult favorite Scott Aukerman's delightfully off-beat Comedy Bang! Bang!. Between 2016 and 2019, Ozeri did a guest spot on ABC sitcom American Housewife and made a pair of appearances on comedienne extraordinaire Natasha Leggero's Another Period - once, playing famed illusionist Harry Houdini.

It's an impressive résumé of memorable appearances, to be sure, but there's one aspect of Ozeri's performance on #blackAF that should be even more recognizable than his face.

Gil Ozeri should sound as familiar as he looks

Ozeri provided voice work for the strange and hilarious HBO animated series Animals in 2017, just before landing one of the biggest breaks of his career. Even if you don't recognize his face from one of his many featured roles on TV, you'll almost certainly recognize his voice from the Netflix animated series Big Mouth. The show, from creators Jennifer Flackett, Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, mines the deep, comedic well that is puberty for some eye-popping belly laughs, and has been an award-winning hit for the streaming service.

Ozeri voiced several different characters on the outrageous animated comedy, appearing in nine different episodes spanning the first three seasons of its run. In addition to providing these vocal performances, Ozeri was also one of the main writers on Big Mouth, and is credited with producing six of the popular show's teleplays.

#blackAF is just the first project produced by Netflix under the auspices of Barris' new deal, so it's entirely possible we'll see Ozeri starring in more Kenya Barris projects in the near future. In addition to his writing duties, he's currently acting in a forthcoming feature entitled Death of a Telemarketer, which was still filming as of this article's writing.