Danny Hoch

Danny Hoch (born November 23, 1970) is an American actor, writer, director and performance artist. He has acted in larger roles in independent and art house movies and had a few small roles in mainstream Hollywood films, with increasing exposure as in 2007's We Own the Night. He is also known for his one man shows.

Danny Hoch
Hoch on the set of His & Hers
Born (1970-11-23) November 23, 1970
Brooklyn, New York City, United States
OccupationActor, writer, director, performance artist
Years active1996–present


Two of his three one-man-shows, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop and Some People, were published together in 1998. In both pieces he explores the multi-cultural (and multi-lingual) New York he grew up in, providing adept monologues in the languages of the people, Cuban Spanish, Dominican Spanish or Nuyorican, Jamaican Patois or Trinidadian English.

A prevailing theme in Hoch's work, within its spectrum of unification and deep similarities under superficial differences, is the power of hip hop. Naive or street-wise white youth believing or dreaming that they are black, African-American kids dreaming of making it as a rapper, a Cuban street vendor's love of Snoop Dogg.

Some People followed his first endeavor, Pot Melting, and was broadcast on HBO in the mid-90's, which granted Hoch more national exposure, allowing him to tour more cities to greater crowds. Hoch founded the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2000. Together, his three plays have won many awards, including two Obie Awards, a Sundance Writers Fellowship and the CalArts' Alpert Awards in the Arts in Theatre. In 2010 he won a Fellow award granted by United States Artists.[1]

In 2008 Hoch's solo show Taking Over addresses the issue of social imbalance as viewed by people who are pushed out by gentrification in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[2]

In late 2011 to early 2012, Hoch appeared in Ethan Coen's one-act play "Talking Cure" presented as part of Relatively Speaking.

Appearances in other media

Like the subject of most of Hoch's monologues, his writings often examine topics in hip hop, race and class and he has been published in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Harper's, and The Nation.

He has been featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, in addition to his Some People being broadcast on that station. The film version of Hoch's Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop was released in 2000.

Hoch was cast in a guest role on a 1995 episode of Seinfeld, (season seven, "The Pool Guy"), but he objected to what he felt was ethnic stereotyping in the way his Hispanic character was written and tried to convince Jerry Seinfeld to change things. Hoch was eventually re-cast with another actor.[3]

Hoch appeared in Spike Lee's film Bamboozled as Timmi Hilnigger, a parody of Tommy Hilfiger who proudly sells overpriced designer clothing to African-Americans, claiming, "We keep it so real, we even give you the bullet holes" and advising viewers to "stay broke, never get out of the ghetto, and continue to contribute to my multi-million dollar corporation."

He is also known for writing Whiteboyz, a limited-released 1999 film directed by Marc Levin in which Hoch also stars with Mark Webber and Dash Mihok as three white Iowa teenagers who long for a gangsta rap life. The film also stars Piper Perabo and Eugene Byrd and rappers as luminous as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Big Pun, Fat Joe, dead prez, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh.

Hoch appeared on Robert Small's MTV Unplugged spoken word series.

Personal life

Hoch, who is Jewish,[4][5] grew up in Queens, New York.


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Sureshot
1997 Subway Stories Edward (segment "Honey-Getter") Made-for-television movie
1997 His and Hers Lenny
1998 The Thin Red Line Pvt. Leonardo Carni Directed by Terrence Malick
1999 Whiteboyz Flip Also writer
2000 Jails, Hospitals, & Hip-Hop Writer, Director
2000 Bamboozled Timmi Hillnigger Directed by Spike Lee
2001 Black Hawk Down Spc. Dominick Pilla Directed by Ridley Scott
2001 Prison Song Harris
2001 3 A.M. Father
2002 Washington Heights Mickey Award-winning independent film [6]
2003 American Splendor Marty Also starring Paul Giamatti
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kracker Television series; episode Soulless
2003 The Other Shoe Abraham
2003–2004 Def Poetry Jam Himself 2 episodes
2005 War of the Worlds Cop Directed by Steven Spielberg
2005 Bam Bam and Celeste Neo-Nazi
2006 Wyclef Jean in America Television series; writer
2007 We Own the Night Louis "Jumbo" Falsetti
2007 Lucky You Bobby Basketball
2007 Blackbird Pinchback
2009 Taking Chance TSA Agent
2010 Blue Bloods Billy Leo Television series; episode Officer Down
2010 Henry's Crime Joe
2011 Violet & Daisy Man #4
2011 Nurse Jackie Mr. Digby Television series; episode ...Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test
2012 Safe Julius Barkow
2012 Ted Donny's Father Uncredited
2014 The Knick Bunky Collier Television series; 5 episodes
2016 Gotham Pharmacist Television series; episode "Mr. Freeze"
2016 Exposed Detective Joey Cullen
2016 Wolves Sean
2016 Barry Eddie
2018 Maniac 5 Miniseries; 9 episodes
2019 Goldie Frank


  1. United States Artists Official Website Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Cole, Williams (November 2008). "The Mea Culpa of Gentrification: Danny Hoch in conversation with Williams Cole". The Brooklyn Rail.
  3. "Season 7 DVD features at Seinfeld's Official Site". Sony Pictures. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  4. Kachka, Boris. "Native Tongues: Danny Hoch". New York Magazine, November 23, 2008. Accessed January 1, 2018.
  5. Rousuck, J. Wynn. "Danny Hoch, one-man gang Theater: Monologuist beyond the pale in 'Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop.'". The Baltimore Sun, January 19, 1998. Accessed January 1, 2018.
  6. Internet Movie Database

Further reading

  • Robert Torre: 'Hoch, Danny (1970-)', Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature, edited by Tarshia L. Stanley, Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press (2009),121-122.
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