Hailing from Indianapolis, Mike Epps started his career on stage as a comedian. Born into a large family with eight siblings, Epps was the class clown who decided in his teens to enter a stand-up contest at an Indiana club. His success on stage gave him the courage to strike out on his own, heading to Atlanta where he made a name for himself at the Comedy Act Theater. The owner of the club suggested Epps move to New York to build his act, and within a week, Epps left for NYC.
He soon fought his way into the Def Comedy Jam, where he excelled and became a member in 1995. He toured with the group and performed at Laffapalooza fest and the Comedy Store in L.A.
Following his film debut in Vin Diesel's Strays in 1997, he was spotted by Ice Cube at the Comedy Store. The discovery led to his second feature credit, Next Friday (2000), playing Day-Day. This exposure led to roles in bigger films like Dr. Dolittle 2 (voicing Sonny) (2001), The Fighting Temptations (2003), The Honeymooners (2005), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Jumping the Broom (2011) and Sparkle (2012). More recently, he appeared in The Hangover Part III (2013) and Repentance (2014).