Richard Belzer is an American stand-up comedian, author and actor best known for his role as John Munch, which he has portrayed as a regular cast member on the police procedural series Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Belzer has played Detective Munch on a record-setting 10 different television series: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order: Trial By Jury, Homicide, The X-Files, The Beat, M.O.N.Y., Sesame Street, The Wire and Arrested Development.
The veteran standup comic, actor and author was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Due to his uncontrollable wit, Belzer was thrown out of every school he ever attended.
Prior to his career in showbiz, Belzer worked as a teacher, census taker, jewelry salesman, dockworker and a reporter for the Bridgeport Post, among a slew of other Connecticut newspapers.
After cutting his teeth on stage at Catch a Rising Star, the notorious eastside comedy mecca, Belzer began his onscreen career with a starring role in Groove Tube, the counterculture film that went on to become a cult classic.
Belzer's comedic talents have since been featured in every entertainment medium from Off-Broadway (The National Lampoon Show with Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and John Belushi), to radio (Brink and Belzer on WNBC), to film (Fame, Author, Author, Night Shift and Scarface).
He also appeared as himself – and the MC at the Catch – in the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon.
His other film credits include Species II, Get on the Bus, Girl 6, A Very Brady Sequel, North, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Big Picture.
In 1997, Belzer starred in his own HBO comedy special, Another Lone Nut, and released a comedy CD of the same title. He's hosted an ABC primetime special called When Cars Attack; starred in the six-part comedy Showtime series The Richard Belzer Show; hosted the live Lifetime talk show Hot Properties; and Court TV's Crime Stories.
Belzer also narrated the Animal Planet special The Uprising.
Belzer is the author of four books, the last two of which were a crime fiction series co-written with Michael Black that featured Belzer as the mystery-solving protagonist.
I'm Not a Cop, the first of the two, was published in 2008, followed by the sequel, I'm Not a Psychic, in 2009.
Belzer penned UFOs, JFK and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe in 2000, and co-authored How to Be a Standup Comic in 1988 with Borat director and writer, Larry Charles and Catch a Rising Star owner Rick Newman.