Born Michael Kaplan, Myq Kaplan is a standup comedian known for observational humor with an affinity for wordplay. The latter becomes more significant upon learning that the New Jersey native holds a Master's degree in applied linguistics. After earning a Bachelor's from Brandeis University in 2000, Kaplan spent several years as a graduate student at Boston University, working as a senior resident assistant for free room and board. During that time, he pursued singing and songwriting before discovering standup.
Kaplan switched focus to honing his skills in the city's thriving comedy scene, and by 2006 he was a semifinalist at the Boston Comedy Festival. In the summer of 2007, he was able to reach a much larger audience as a contestant on the seventh season of the reality TV series Last Comic Standing, where he finished in the Top Five. With a reinforced fan base, he hit the national club circuit, and in 2008 made the move to New York City to pursue comedy full-time. He would make his debut on The Tonight Show a year later. His own episode of Comedy Central Presents followed in April 2010, the same month he released his first comedy album, Vegan Mind Meld, with BSeenMedia. Its topics included his own vegetarianism and Judaism, as well as giving thought to the words duckling and dumpling. His second album, Please Be Seated, was a two-man show with Micah Sherman that incorporated comedy songs. It saw release by the same label in 2012. Meat Robot followed a year later on Comedy Central Records, and the one-hour special Small, Dork, and Handsome premiered on Netflix on May 15, 2014. It was released for streaming, digital download, and on CD by New Wave Dynamics a few days later and became a Billboard Top Ten comedy album.
Kaplan had another run at reality TV when he finished as a quarter-finalist on the tenth season of America's Got Talent in 2015. In 2016, amid continued club work and television appearances, including an episode of late night's Conan, he had a role in the Henry Phillips comedy Punching Henry. The film's cast featured a number of other standup comedians, including Tig Notaro, Sarah Silverman, and Jim Jefferies. Kaplan's fifth comedy album, No Kidding, was recorded at Doc's Lab in San Francisco and released by A Special Thing in early 2017. ~ Marcy Donelson