Teaching Students About Gary Valentine

Gary Valentine is an Emmy nominated comedian, actor, and writer known for his incredible wit and humor. Born Gary Joseph Knipfing in 1961 in Mineola, New York, he has made a lasting impact on the world of entertainment. With several prominent roles in movies and TV shows like “King of Queens” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” he has established himself as one of the leading comedic actors of his generation. In this article, we will discuss how educators can introduce Gary Valentine’s work to students, igniting their interest in comedy and enhancing their understanding of its importance in popular culture.


1. Introduce the life and career of Gary Valentine

Begin by providing students with a brief introduction to Gary Valentine’s life story and career milestones. Share details about how he got into acting and comedy in his early years and how he honed his skills in various clubs across the United States before achieving nationwide fame.

2. Analyze Gary Valentine’s comedic style

Encourage students to explore the unique features of Valentine’s style by watching clips from his stand-up performances, sitcoms, or films. Stimulate discussions by asking questions such as “What type of humor does Gary Valentine use?” or “What makes him so funny?”. This will enhance their understanding of different comedy styles.

3. Discuss his contribution to the TV show “King of Queens”

Dive into the popular sitcom “King of Queens,” in which Gary Valentine played Danny Heffernan for nine seasons. Explore how Valentine co-starred with comedic powerhouse Kevin James, adding depth and laughter to each episode they appeared in together. Encourage students to watch select episodes to better understand and appreciate the impact Valentine had on the show.

4. Delve into his movie roles

Talk about some of Gary Valentine’s well-known movie roles, such as Paul Blart’s brother in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and its sequel. Highlight how he can transition seamlessly between TV and film, adapting his unique brand of humor to a variety of situations and characters.

5. Compare and contrast with other comedians

Help students gain a broader understanding of the comedy landscape by comparing and contrasting Valentine’s work with other renowned comedians. Ask students to consider how his style differs from or is similar to that of other entertainers within the genre.

6. Conduct an in-depth study of a specific performance

Select one of Gary Valentine’s stand-up routines or an episode from a TV show he appeared in, to analyze it in detail. Discuss the jokes or humorous moments, identify recurring themes, and delve into the comedic techniques employed by Valentine to entertain his audience.

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