David Cross (born April 4, 1964)is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer, known primarily for his stand-up performances, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development. Cross created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, developed and had a prominent role in Freak Show, appeared on Modern Family, portrayed Ian Hawke in the Alvin and the Chipmunks film franchise, and voiced Crane in the Kung Fu Panda film franchise.
At age 17, Cross began performing stand-up comedy. The day after he graduated from high school, Cross relocated to New York City. Lacking a plan, he drifted, working briefly for a lawn care company on Long Island. Later, he enrolled at Emerson College in Boston. He would drop out after only a semester, but during his time there, Cross joined This is Pathetic, a college sketch group, where he met John Ennis. In the summer of 1985, the two aspiring actors took a road trip to Los Angeles, although this did not significantly further their acting careers.
In Boston, Cross began to perform stand-up more regularly. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Boston had a booming comedy scene, although Cross did not fit the types of acts being booked most of the time. He recalls that it was “a loud-, dumb-, pandering-, racist-, homophobic-type scene”.