Charlie Day: The Star of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'
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Charlie Day is an American actor, writer, producer, and podcaster, best known for his role as Charlie Kelly on the long-running FX comedy series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Born on February 9, 1976, in New York City and raised in Middletown, Rhode Island, Day has built a diverse career in television and film, including notable performances in "Horrible Bosses," "Pacific Rim," and voice roles in "Monsters University" and "The Lego Movie" franchise.

 

Day's Birth and Education

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Charlie Day was born on February 9, 1976, in New York City and raised in Middletown, Rhode Island. He is the younger of two children, with an elder sister named Alice. His father, Dr. Thomas Charles Day, is a retired professor of music history, and his mother, Mary Peckham, was a piano teacher. Day attended Pennfield School and graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island. He later majored in art history at Merrimack College, where he was active in the student theater organization, Onstagers, and graduated in 1998.
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Early Acting Struggles

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Charlie Day's early career was marked by a series of small roles and significant challenges. After graduating from Merrimack College, he moved to New York City to pursue acting, where he initially struggled to find steady work. Day took on various jobs, including working as a janitor, to support himself while auditioning for roles. His persistence paid off with minor appearances in television series such as "Law & Order" and "Third Watch" before landing a more substantial role in the short-lived sitcom "Luis" in 2003. Despite these early struggles, Day's breakthrough came with the creation of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which he co-developed with Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton. The show's success catapulted him into the spotlight, allowing him to showcase his comedic talent and paving the way for future opportunities in both television and film.
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Charlie Day: From $200 Pilot to 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

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Charlie Day co-created "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" with Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton. The trio shot the pilot episode on a budget of just $200, using their own recording equipment. This low-budget pilot caught the attention of FX executives, leading to the show's debut in 2005. The series, set in a fictional Irish bar in South Philadelphia, follows a group of friends known as "The Gang" as they engage in morally questionable and often absurd schemes. The show's unique development process, characterized by its raw and unfiltered humor, quickly garnered a dedicated fan base and rose to cult status. Charlie Day's character, Charlie Kelly, is one of the central figures in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Portrayed as an eccentric and illiterate janitor, Charlie is known for his childlike behavior, bizarre habits, and unrequited love for "The Waitress." His character is often involved in the most outlandish and comedic situations, such as getting addicted to inhalants or believing in conspiracy theories about "Pepe Silvia". Over the years, Charlie Kelly has become iconic for his wild antics, musical talents, and memorable catchphrases, contributing significantly to the show's humor and appeal. The impact and legacy of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on television comedy are profound. Initially met with mixed reviews, the show struggled with low viewership in its first season. However, the addition of Danny DeVito to the cast in the second season helped boost its popularity. The series has since become one of the longest-running live-action comedy series in American television history, known for its willingness to tackle controversial and sensitive topics with dark humor and satire. Its success has paved the way for other unconventional comedies and has left a lasting mark on the genre, earning multiple award nominations and a loyal fanbase.
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From Screen to Sound: Charlie Day's Versatile Acting Career

Charlie Day has demonstrated versatility in his acting career, transitioning seamlessly between live-action and voice roles. His filmography includes a mix of comedic and dramatic performances, showcasing his range as an actor. Below is a table summarizing some of his notable roles:
Film/SeriesRoleDescription
Horrible Bosses (2011)Dale ArbusA relatable and loving husband involved in a revenge plot with his friends.
Pacific Rim (2013)Dr. Newton GeiszlerA quirky biologist studying kaiju, highlighting his ability to handle more serious roles.
Monsters University (2013)Art (voice)A bizarre and hilarious side character in Pixar's animated prequel.
The Lego Movie (2014)Benny (voice)A lovable astronaut with a passion for spaceships.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)Luigi (voice)The neurotic Italian plumber, a role that has been widely praised.
Day's voice acting has been particularly notable, with standout performances in "Monsters University," "The Lego Movie," and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," where he brought unique comedic timing and depth to his characters.
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Charlie's Awards and Nominations

Charlie Day has received several awards and nominations throughout his career, recognizing his talent in both acting and voice performance. Below is a list of his notable accolades:
  • Satellite Awards
    • 2011 Nominee: Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".
  • MTV Movie + TV Awards
    • 2015 Nominee: Best WTF Moment for "Horrible Bosses 2" (shared with Jason Sudeikis).
  • Teen Choice Awards
    • 2017 Nominee: Choice Fight for "Fist Fight" (shared with Ice Cube).
    • 2012 Nominee: Choice Movie Chemistry for "Horrible Bosses" (shared with Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis).
  • Critics Choice Television Awards
    • 2011 Nominee: Best Actor in a Comedy Series for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".
  • IGN Summer Movie Awards
    • 2019 Nominee: Best TV Ensemble for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (shared with cast members).
  • Online Film & Television Association
    • 2016 Winner: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".
  • Behind the Voice Actors Awards
    • 2015 Nominee: Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film for "The Lego Movie" (shared with cast members).
    • 2015 Winner: BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award for "The Lego Movie" (shared with cast members).
    • 2014 Nominee: Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film for "Monsters University" (shared with cast members).
  • International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA)
    • 2015 Nominee: Best Writing for a Comedy Series for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (shared with Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney).
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Charlie Day: Expanding His Talents into Writing, Directing, and Producing

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Charlie Day expanded his creative repertoire by venturing into writing, directing, and producing. Beyond his significant contributions to "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," Day made his directorial debut with the 2017 comedy film "Fist Fight," starring Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan. The film, directed by Richie Keen, revolves around a mild-mannered teacher who is challenged to a fight by a colleague after causing his termination. Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews, "Fist Fight" grossed $41.1 million worldwide against a budget of $22–25 million. Day continues to explore various roles behind the camera, contributing to the broader landscape of comedy in television and film.
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Day's Personal Life and Family

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Charlie Day married actress Mary Elizabeth Ellis on March 4, 2006, after meeting her in 2001. The couple has one son, Russell Wallace Day, born on December 15, 2011. Ellis, known for her role as "The Waitress" on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," often collaborates with Day on various projects, including his directorial debut, "Fool's Paradise" (2023). Outside of his professional career, Day is a skilled musician, proficient in playing the piano, trombone, guitar, and harmonica, and has written or improvised many songs featured on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".
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Final Thoughts on Charlie Day

Charlie Day's career spans a broad spectrum of entertainment, captivating audiences with his dynamic performances across various mediums. From his iconic role as Charlie Kelly in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to his memorable voice work as Luigi in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," Day has proven his versatility and comedic prowess. His ability to bring depth and humor to both live-action and animated characters has solidified his status as a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. Whether as a mainstay in a long-running television series or a standout voice in major film franchises, Day continues to entertain and engage a wide audience with his unique talent.
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