Robert Lazarik Hines is an American comedian and actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Toby Jones in many viral parody commercials, including Jones’s Good Butt BBQ and Foot Massage.
Hines was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Vera May (née King) and Bobby Frank Hines. He attended Chicago Vocational High School on Chicago’s South Side. In August 1988, Hines joined the U.S. Army Reserve and served in the Reserve for six years as a Field Artillery Artilleryman.
To earn a living while honing his comedy skills, Hines began working as a corrections officer at the Cook County Jail in Chicago in 1994 at the age of 24. Chase Robert, performed by Andy Dick, Larry Miller, Paul Provenza, Rick Overton and Dan Castellanetta.
Hines started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 21. In June 1991, he made his first appearance at Funny Company, a Chicago comedy club owned by Len Austrevitch, who later cast Hines in his first a movie character. After the show, Hines meets local comedians Bernie Mack, Evan Lionel, Dahlan Howard, and Shay Shea (Philip White).
Mac and Lionel immediately booked Hines for Monday night at the Cotton Club in Chicago, where Hines performed for nearly a year. All four comedians became Hines’ mentors and friends. From 1991 to 1996, Daran hired Howard Hines for his Laugh Fest college comedy tour, which included shows for historically black colleges.
Hines credits Shea for helping him personalize his comedy, telling the Chicago Tribune’s Steven Johnson, “Shea told me I needed to show them my pain.”
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