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Actor and comedian Michael Colyar replaces late Doug Banks on radio

A resume that spans past radio has him with big shoes to fill

When radio personality Doug Banks died from complications of diabetes in April, mourners and loyal listeners of the long-running syndicated Doug Banks Show were left to pick up the pieces. As time went on, Banks was missed more and more.

His natural flair for comedy and the contribution of his voice and knowledge on diverse subjects surrounding race, culture and politics won over the appetites of radio listeners in areas where the show could be heard.

The radio side of black America knew Banks’ role in the industry would be tough for anyone to follow. But someone is doing just that. Iconic comedian, actor and author Michael Colyar is bringing his 30-year career to radio as co-host of The Afternoon Rush on American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), the show that replaced the Doug Banks Show. It airs weekly from 3 to 7 p.m. EST.

“I am honored to join the new radio show that follows in the footsteps of Doug Banks, who was a legendary figure in black entertainment,” Colyar said. “It’s a huge pleasure to add my personal brand of entertainment, my love of comedy, my political insight and love of everyday people to help build the greatest, biggest and best afternoon drive time radio show in the country.”

Colyar’s co-hosts are Ebony Steele (Dish TV) and sidekick Loni Swain and they are all in AURN studios in Dallas. Colyar relocated from Los Angeles to Dallas for the show. He was working on a one-man show, Michael Colyar’s Momma, which he temporarily suspended but is slated to debut in February 2017 in 100 cities. The Afternoon Rush combines music, comedy and social interaction.

“This show means a great deal to me,” said Colyar. “I am on a mission to not only entertain but to also elevate our community and our country to a new level. My road to fame has been full of challenges and learnings, for which I am grateful. This show provides me with a platform to share my experiences and my story, to encourage our youth, to those who seem to have no hope, like the homeless, individuals who are fighting drug addiction and even to provide insight to those who have everything they could ever ask for. We can all share a laugh together.”

Colyar is a Chicago native who made his mark as “The King of Venice Beach.” He performed five comedy shows a day for nine years in front of sold-out crowds. His shoes and handprints are in cement on the new Venice Boardwalk in his honor.

Colyar was the original host of the BET show BET Live from LA. He gained national attention after he won the $100,000 Grand Prize Comedy championship on Star Search in 1990. He donated $50,000 to homeless charities in the Los Angeles area. In 2011, he was the voice of Buford the frog in Disney’s first black animated film The Princess and the Frog. He is also a voice on the Cleveland Show. In 2012, he released the book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House, I Knocked on the Door and a Black Man Answered. His third book, Michael Goes Motivational: The Life and Evolution of a Very Funny Brother, is also due to be released on his birthday, Feb. 9, 2017.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.