Growing up outside of conservative Dallas, Texas, Jay Light had to sneak late-night viewings of Comedy Central and Adult Swim with the volume turned low. His parents wouldn’t have approved. Today things have come full circle: He’s appeared on both seasons of Comedy Central insult competition Roast Battle, been named a “local eclectic noise maker” by L.A. Weekly, and praised as “one of the best Roasters in Los Angeles” by no less than Comedy Central mainstay Jeff Ross.
Self-deprecating, slyly dark, and always eager to subvert audience expectations, Jay began his stand-up career as a freshman at North Carolina’s Elon University. As an undergrad he hosted frenetic student TV gameshow Win Stuff and wrote/directed 2011’s Shock Jock, which screened at the Cannes Festival’s Short Film Corner. Follow-up effort Rocketeer received the Sprite Films Competition’s national Viewers Choice Award the following year. Jay’s Media Arts & Entertainment degree came with the Communications department’s high-profile A.J. Fletcher Award, granted annually to “an outstanding graduate…who reflects wide-ranging interest in the field.”
Now a regular performer at famed Sunset Strip institution the Comedy Store, Jay co-produces weekly live editions of Roast Battle. He credits the latter with helping him tap into his true comedic voice, become a better joke-writer, and elevate his confidence as a performer...not to mention score the opportunity to open for Dave Chappelle. Onstage Jay may look like the clean-cut, naïve boy next door and readily admit, “I suffer from camp-counselor face!” But as crowds quickly learn, he doesn’t shy from discussing his sheltered religious upbringing or the formative lessons learned along his path to sobriety.
In addition to making the finals of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle II: War of the Words, Jay has appeared on the network’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and HBO’s Project Greenlight. Most recently he’s honed his improv skills at emerging L.A. venue The Pack Theater, and in 2018 became both a contributing writer for Pete Holmes’ HBO series Crashing and staff writer for the Discovery Channel’s BattleBots reboot.
Aside from touring clubs, music venues and colleges across the country, other stand-up credits include the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, the Motor City Comedy Festival, the Golden Spike Comedy Festival, the Blue Whale Comedy Festival, and South by Southwest.
In the podcasting realm, Jay puts his film degree to use every Monday morning on Blockbusting with Jay Light. The show first invites top comics and filmmakers to discuss industry news and the latest box-office results. Guests then dissect a successful mainstream movie they don’t consider a personal favorite – no gimmicks, no remorse, no punches pulled. Everything may be subjective in comedy, but on Blockbusting unpopular opinion rules.
As for Jay’s parents? Though his mom may have disowned his earliest career choices, it’s safe to say she’s coming around. They’re admittedly still not his target demographic, but Comedy Central now plays loud and proud in the Light household whenever he’s on.
bio by Julie Seabaugh