Jeff was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, in an environment which in-advertently lent itself to show business. As an only child, he got way too much attention from his parents, and subsequently, faced a real dilemma with the transition of leaving home and being in school. But Jeff figured out very quickly how to get back the attention by making his classmates and teachers laugh, In fact, most of his elementary school time was spent in a special "Jeff Altman" chair in the principal's office. Jeff's first exposure to performing came early in life - his dad was one of the finest slight-of-hand artists in the country. It wasn't long before his son began to fiddle with cards and coins as well.
Today, Jeff considers slight-of-hand a coveted avocation and he achieved notoriety for publishing many tricks. Jeff's father also gets credit for teaching his son to play the drums, something Jeff still loves and does. Deluded by academic aspirations, Jeff spent four years in Baltimore where he managed to graduate from Johns Hopkins University. While there, he not only earned a diploma, but also a reputation as a disturbed young man. It wasn't uncommon to see Jeff being escorted out of the Hutzler Reading Room dresses as bush. Twice during his college days he visited Los Angeles, spending most of his time at the renowned Magic Castle, an exclusive magicians' club in Hollywood. Intoxicated by the West Coast, Jeff began to realize that his days as a "scholar" were numbered and soon after graduation he packed up his car and made his way to California.
After a six-month tenure at the Magic Castle, Jeff began working at the world-famous Comedy Store; and, it was here, in its heyday, where he developed a stand-up act and started to think of himself as a comedian. It wasn't long before Jeff was tapped for several appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and started performing in clubs across the country. "Suddenly, I was rich," recalls Jeff. "I was amazed that I was able to generate an income over $3000 in one year by being a comedian." That wasn't bad; his apartment was only $100/month, and sometimes if he vacuumed the halls, they cut his rent in half.
Jeff's stand-up and acting has come a long way since. He appears regularly on The Late Show With David Letterman, has guest-starred in dozens of network prime-time shows, such as Caroline in the City, Land's End, and Baywatch, and has produced and starred in two critically-acclaimed Showtime specials, Jeff Altman's Scrapbook and Sweet & Meaty. A few years ago, he recorded a well-received, live album at the Comedy Store, I'll Flip You Like Cheese Omelette (Mercury/Polygram), featuring several of his most popular, signature pieces. Film credits include HighLander II, American Hot Wax, Soul Man and Easy Money.
Altman is one of the most highly pursued comedians by advertising companies and has appeared in over 30 national campaigns ranging from Budweiser to Panasonic. He currently is the television and radio spokesperson for Southern California Mitsubishi's 1997 campaign. Jeff supports various charitable organizations, including CARE, coordinating one of their successful annual fund-raiser, Comics for CARE, at the Comedy Store, as well as the Los Angeles mission and American Red Cross. The rest of Altman's free time is spent with his seven-year old daughter, Faith, who makes him laugh harder than any of his comic pals.
Actor Filmograpy (1990s) (1980s) (1970s)
1."Nurses" (1991) TV Series .... Greg Vincent (1991-1992) 2."Sunday Comics, The" (1991) TV Series .... Host 3.Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) .... Doctor... aka Highlander II (1991) 4.Little White Lies (1989) (TV) .... Technician 5."Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters" (1988) TV Series (voice) .... Professor Dweeb 6.Soul Man (1986) .... Ray McGrady 7.Doin' Time (1985) .... Duke Jarrett 8.Easy Money (1983) (as Jeffrey Altman) .... Bill Jones 9.Ovdim Al Ha'Olam (1983) ... aka Tourist Trap (1983) 10.Drop-Out Father (1982) (TV) 11.In Love with an Older Woman (1982) (TV) 12."Solid Gold" (1980) TV Series .... Regular (1982-1983) ... aka "Solid Gold in Concert" (1987) (USA: changed title) 13.Wacko (1981) .... Harry Palms 14."Pink Lady" (1980) TV Series ... aka "Pink Lady and Jeff" (1980) 15."Dukes of Hazzard, The" (1979) TV Series .... Hughie Hogg 16.Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill (1979) (TV) .... Marvin Laurie 17.American Hot Wax (1978) .... Lennie Richfield 18."Starland Vocal Band Show, The" (1977) TV Series 19."Legends of the Super-Heroes" (1977) TV Series .... Weather Wizard
Notable TV guest appearances
1."Baywatch" (1989) playing "Ed Symes" in episode: "Swimmer, The" (episode # 9.9) 11/22/1998 2."Baywatch" (1989) playing "Ed Symes" in episode: "Natural, The" (episode # 9.5) 10/25/1998 3."Baywatch" (1989) playing "Ed Symes" in episode: "Quarantine" 4/20/1998 4."Baywatch" (1989) playing "Special Agent Dudley Dawson" 10/1996 5."Caroline in the City" (1995) playing "Howie" in episode: "Caroline and the Movie" (episode # 1.19) 4/4/1996 6."Thunder in Paradise" (1994) in episode: "Gettysburg Change of Address" 1994 7."Tiny Toon Adventures" (1990) playing "Lloyd"(voice) in episode: "Furrball Follies" 10/2/1990 8."Tiny Toon Adventures" (1990) playing "Splicer"(voice) in episode: "Hare-Raising Night" 10/1/1990 9."Garfield and Friends" (1988) (voice) in episode: "Cutie and the Beast" 10/7/1989 10."Baywatch" (1989) playing "Fred Rachins" in episode: "Drowning Pool, The" (episode # 1.7) 1989 11."Stingray" (1986) playing "Himself" in episode: "First Time is Forever, The" (episode # 2.6) 2/20/1987 12."Night Court" (1984) in episode: "New Judge, The" (episode # 4.7) 1987 13."WKRP in Cincinnati" (1978) playing "Murray Gressler" in episode: "Johnny Comes Back"