MARK is a "middle" child. No big surprise there, eh?
Many believe MARK'S sense of humor was developed at a VERY early age...by accident!
A few days after he was born - on the ride home from the hospital - his paternal grandfather insisted on carrying his new grandson home! Well, this was in the middle of December and little MARK was completely bundled up from head-to-toe - it wasn't until his mother unwrapped him and took him from his grandpa's arms that anyone realized - GRANDPA HAD BEEN HOLDING MARK UPSIDE-DOWN DURING THE ENTIRE RIDE HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL!
It was several weeks before anyone let my Grandpa Knope hold me again - here we are with Grandma! Don't they look proud?! Heh.
Do you think having all that blood rushing into his tiny little melon at the tender age of THREE DAYS caused any confusion in his thought-process during the rest of his life?
MARK lead a pretty normal childhood in a middle-class neighborhood in Wyandotte, MI; a suburb of Detroit. MARK'S Dad, Charlie - was a firefighter for the city they resided in, but...he ALWAYS was working a second job to provide "extras" for the family. Blossom, MARK'S Mom, was the family's cook, housekeeper, seamstress, launderer, nurse and chauffer ALL rolled into ONE! You know...SUPERMOM!
MARK'S love for performing was evident at a very early age - whether it was doing impressions of John Wayne, Tennessee Tuxedo or Howard Cosell for his aunts and uncles OR an impromptu puppet show for his cousins...MARK loved being in the spotlight! Most people fear speaking in front of crowds - MARK has ALWAYS relished in it! Whenever a teacher looked for a volunteer to give an oral book-report (OR ANY PRESENTATION, for that matter!) MARK'S hand was sure to shoot into the air for consideration...
After graduating from Wyandotte's "Teddy Bear" High, MARK attended Central Michigan University and earned a B.A.A. degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts.
My father, Charlie; pictured between my son, Andrew; and his new wife, Lauren; on their wedding day! Semper Fi!!!
He's been married once and divorced - however, the best part of being married was when his son was born! Andrew is now a graduate of the University of Arizona and is a Captain (and helicopter pilot) in the United States Marine Corps - he served a tour of Afghanistan during 2010. (Sorry ladies, Andrew got married to his wife, Lauren; in May of 2009; at a beautiful ceremony in Chesapeake Bay, MD.)
Being divorced many years ago, Mark designated himself a "BORN-AGAIN BACHELOR" a term that was coined when he first started doing standup!
BUT WAIT! Exactly WHEN did MARK get started with this whole "comedy-thing?"
Looking back on things, he certainly has had a wealth of experiences with which to draw material from...
MARK got his start in professional comedy at an open-mic night at the New Chinatown restaurant in Albuquerque, NM; back in March of 1986!
He honed his comedic skills in places like Houston, San Francisco and Orange County, CA - before he FINALLY ditched his "day-job" in September of 1988 and hit THE ROAD!
Mark returned to the Midwest in the late 90's - eventually, re-locating to Toledo, OH; in 2004.