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OBITUARIES | Passings | Mitch Mullany

Comic starred in '90s TV series 'Nick Freno'

June 02, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Mitch Mullany, 39, a stand-up comic who starred in the 1990s sitcom "Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher," died May 25 in his Los Angeles apartment from a diabetic-related stroke, said Jamie Masada, owner of the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, where Mullany often performed.

"His humor was very, very high energy, almost like a firecracker that you would light and put on the stage," Masada said. "He understood ethnic humor. . . . People really loved him."

Born in 1968 in Oakland, Mullany started performing in the city's African American comedy circuit at 19.

After moving to Los Angeles at 24, Mullany got what he considered his big break when he was cast in the recurring role of White Mike in the WB sitcom "The Wayans Bros."

The part led him to star in "Nick Freno," which aired on the WB from 1996 to 1998. On the show, he played a hip, young educator; critics often compared his comedy style to Jim Carrey's.

He wrote and starred in the film "The Breaks," a 1999 hip-hop comedy, and also had appeared on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

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