as Geoffrey [pronounced "Joffrey", not "Jeffrey"] Jellineck

Paul Dinello was born on November 28th (let's say it was the early to mid-1960s) in Oak Park, Illinois. One of five children, he has a brother and three sisters.

He became familiar with the renowned "Second City" troupe while writing a paper about it for a class at DePaul University. Soon after, he enrolled in a "Second City" improv class. At around this time he worked variously at the Allstate Insurance company, at the historic Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and as a stand-up comic, a cab driver, salesman of office art, and a waiter (lasting just one night) at a strip club featuring male exotic dancers called the Sugar Shack.

Shortly after he'd begun his classes at "Second City" he was asked to audition and was subsequently hired to be a member of a touring company. In the early 1990s, Paul and fellow "Second City" alums Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, and Mitch Rouse moved to New York. The quartet developed a half-hour sketch comedy series from HBO Downtown Productions called "Exit 57". The show aired on COMEDY CENTRAL in 1995 and 1996, and during its two-year run it received five CableACE nominations for best writing, performing, and comedy series.

Paul has appeared in several films, including "Plump Fiction", "Straight Talk", the TV movie "The Howard Beach Story", and the TV series "The Untouchables". He has also frequented the New York stage, most notably in The Talent Family's "Stitches" at the LaMama Theater.

In December of 2004 Paul lost his loyal companion, Cagney (named for actor James Cagney), the dog that he'd had for sixteen years, ever since his days in Chicago. Cagney appeared on "Exit 57" a number of times, popped up on "Strangers with Candy" in episode 1-10, The Trip Back, and can be seen in Wigfield as one of Udell and Eleanor Grimmett's dogs.

Paul, in Shock Asylum

and in Beyond the Door

Paul based his portrayal of "Strangers with Candy"'s Geoffrey Jellineck on a number of his own teachers, one of whom was a woman named Jellineck who presided over one of Paul's art classes in grade school.

"Strip Mall" meets "Strangers With Candy"
Julie Brown and Paul Dinello

To see more pictures of Paul Dinello, go to the Flatpoint Faculty photo gallery.

Paul's Career-ography

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