Mitch Rouse is a prolific writer, director and actor. A veteran in the world of improvisation, Rouse grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He dropped out of college and moved to Chicago, where he studied improvisation under the late, great Del Close. During this time he was asked to join the stage of Chicago’s famed, Second City Theatre, (John Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Tina Fey) where he wrote and performed several shows.
Rouse then moved to New York, to perform in the David Sedaris play, “Stiches”, at La Mama Theatre. While in New York, Mitch teamed up with Second City alum, Stephen Colbert, to create and star in Exit 57 (1995), Comedy Central’s first original half-hour, sketch comedy series. “Exit 57” ran for two seasons and received five Cable Ace Award nominations, including Best Actor (Rouse) and Best Writing for a comedy series.
Rouse created and appeared in the Comedy Central cult-hit “Strangers with Candy” (1999)_, the network’s first half-hour, scripted series, which later became a feature film produced by David Letterman’s World Wide Pants.
Other television includes “Reno 911!” (2003)_,Spin City (1996), “The Secret Lives of Men” (1998)_ and Lost at Home (2003) He appeared in the feature films Rudy (1993), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), _Friends with Money (2006)_ (q.v.), Spy School (2008) and the Farrelly Brother’s The Heartbreak Kid (2007)_.
While appearing on ABC’s According to Jim (2001), Mitch created, wrote and directed Spike TV’s first foray into comedy, with the critically acclaimed Factory (2008), which Rouse starred in with longtime friend and fellow Second City member, David Pasquesi. Dave and Mitch are also responsible for the film festival favorite “Merkin Penal” a dark prison comedy.
Rouse wrote and directed the dark humored Employee of the Month (2004)_ which stars Matt Dillon, Steve Zahn and Christina Applegate. “Employee” premiered at The Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and has since become a cult classic. He also wrote Paramount Pictures summer comedy Without a Paddle (2004), starring Seth Green, Dax Shepard and Burt Reynolds.
Mitch starred along with Jennifer Hudson, Brittany Snow, and Melissa Leo, in Call Me Crazy: A Five Film for Lifetime.
Mitch is married to actress Andrea Bendewald. They have two children, Tennessee and Strummer.
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