The in-your-face comedian Denis Leary
was born in Worcester, MA in 1957. While attending Boston's Emerson College, he became a charter member of the school's Comedy Workshop, and spent five years teaching at the institution following graduation. After gaining some success as a stand-up and writer, in 1990 he and his pregnant wife Ann traveled to London, where Leary
was scheduled to perform for a BBC broadcast; while overseas, the couple's baby unexpectedly arrived, and a planned weekend trip became a prolonged stay. To while away the hours, Leary
began writing his breakthrough one-man show, No Cure for Cancer
; after premiering in Scotland, the show found widespread critical acclaim throughout Britain, and moved to American shores the following year.
In 1992, No Cure for Cancer
was filmed for Showtime; an album and book of the monologue -- a bitter rant against the prevalence of no-smoking laws and the loss of personal freedom -- soon followed. At about the same time Leary
also filmed a series of snarky promotional clips for MTV which greatly boosted his visibility; after a series of small film roles, he graduated to star status for 1994's black comedy The Ref. Although 1996's romantic comedy Two If by Sea, which Leary
also co-wrote, was a critical and commercial failure, he quickly bounced back with a string of projects, including film appearances, TV spots, and a projected sequel to No Cure for Cancer
. The LP Lock 'N Load
, which featured a guest appearance from the great Janeane Garofalo, appeared in 1997.