Kevin James will probably always be known for his role as lovable delivery man Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom "The King of Queens." For almost a decade, he made us laugh alongside Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller, and even earned himself an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Since the end of "Queens," though, the comedian, actor, writer and producer has gone on to make us laugh in a variety of roles, never taking himself too seriously.
Since the conclusion of his TV show in 2007, James has found a new home on the big screen. He co-starred with Adam Sandler and Jessica Biel in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," made an uncredited cameo as a celebrity judge in Sandler's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," and was part of the comedy ensemble for Sandler's two "Grown Ups" films in 2010 and 2013. He also shared the screen with Vince Vaughn in Ron Howard's "The Dilemma."
You're more likely to recognize him, though, from the films that he not only stars in but also writes and produces. The most famous of these remains "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," in which James is a well-meaning mall security guard who finds himself trying to foil a robbery attempt and rescue his not-so-secret crush. The film also starred Jayma Mays and Adam Ferrara, and has gained a second life through numerous cable television reruns.
James also wrote and produced 2011's "Zookeeper," where he was joined by a cast of all-stars including Sandler and Sylvester Stallone lending their voices to zoo animals, as well as 2012's mixed martial arts comedy "Here Comes the Boom." The latter is not that surprising since James is a known fan of the UFC, as well as several major New York sports teams - the MLB's Mets, the NFL's Jets, the NBA's Knicks and the NHL's Islanders.
No matter what project he's in, what makes James such an enduring performer is that he's always willing to laugh at himself for our entertainment. This is a man who once participated in a tennis match with Adam Sandler at the US Open. He puts himself out there and that, in turn, makes us able to laugh with him and not just at him. He's the kind of guy you feel like you could just hang out with, or live next door to, rather than seeing him as a celebrity.
With "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" filming in Las Vegas for a 2015 release, there will be plenty of James' humor for us to enjoy on the big screen, and you still may catch him performing stand-up at a comedy club someday. You can keep up with all of James' future live appearances at AXS.