Travon Free

Travon Free (born 1984/1985)[1] is an American comedian and actor and writer. As of 2017, he writes for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.[2]

He formerly wrote for The Daily Show on Comedy Central[3][4] and Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons on HBO. Free won an Emmy Award for his work on the Daily Show in 2015. He is a former college basketball player.[5]

Early life

Free grew up with his mother and grandmother in Compton, California.[1] He attended Dominguez High School, where he played basketball. In 2002, the Los Angeles Times called him the "team's best player".[6] He chose to remain local and decided to play college basketball for the Long Beach State 49ers. Their program was struggling, and Free liked his chances of earning a starting role. Injuries sapped his dream of playing professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and he had no interest in playing overseas.[1] While he was out injured with a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery, he entertained the team with his humor, which was a prelude to his career in comedy.[7] While in college, Free took a Comedy Writing class and performed at Laugh Factory in Hollywood and The Ice House Club in Pasadena, California.[3][8]

Professional career

Free began writing for The Daily Show in October 2012.[3] After coming in second place in a contest to win a position working for the show, he was invited by Executive Producer Rory Albanese to tour the show's set, which Free treated as a consolation prize.[1] During his visit, he was surprised backstage when Jon Stewart offered him a full-time writing job.[3] Free won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series on The Daily Show in 2015 after being nominated in the two years prior.[9][10] He has also had recurring roles on the shows Tosh.0 and Chelsea Lately.[3] In 2016, Free wrote on the HBO show Any Given Wednesday. In 2017, Free was hired as a writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. In November 2018, he publicly apologized for old tweets that had been criticized as offensive, in particular anti-semitic.[11][12] In 2019, Free joined other WGA members in firing his agents as part of the Guild's stand against the ATA and the unfair practice of packaging.[13]

Personal life

In 2011, Free came out as bisexual, one of the few Division I college basketball players who have come out.[3][14]

See also


  1. Guardabascio, Mike (July 6, 2015). "Travon Free goes from Compton to Long Beach State to the Daily Show". Long Beach Press-Telegram. Archived from the original on December 1, 2015.
  2. "IMDb: Travon Free". IMDb.
  3. ZumMallen, Ryan (March 14, 2013). "Former 49er Free Charging The Comedy Game". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014.
  4. "About Travon Free". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014.
  5. "Former Cal State — Long Beach Center Travon Free On Coming Out In College Sports". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  6. Bolch, Ben (December 12, 2002). "Otis Says Return 'Unbelievable'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014.
  7. Smith, Marcia C. (July 18, 2006). "Laughs are as big as the comedian". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014.
  8. Jenkins, Lee (March 14, 2007). "At Long Beach State, It's Players, Not Games, That Get Away". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014.
  9. Colurso, Mary (September 20, 2015). "Emmy Awards 2015: See photos, full list of winners including Jon Hamm, Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage". Archived from the original on December 1, 2015.
  10. "Travon Free". Archived from the original on December 1, 2015.
  12. "Camping producer". Washington Times.
  13. "WGA: More Than 7,000 Writers Have Fired Their Agents". Deadline.
  14. Zeigler, Cyd (January 25, 2011). "Former Long Beach State baller is bisexual". Archived from the original on January 4, 2013.
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