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Comedian, Game Show Host Is a Retired Marine

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Rob Riggle is known for his work as a comedian. He currently co-hosts the miniature golf game show "Holey Moley," but is best known for being on "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show."

He was also a Marine.

A man sits in front of a microphone.
Rob Riggle
Comedian Rob Riggle, a retired Marine, speaks at the 2014 Comic-Con International: San Diego for "Let's Be Cops" at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, Calif.
Photo By: Gage Skidmore
VIRIN: 141001-O-D0439-001

In 1992, Riggle was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. He served as a public affairs officer in New York City and Los Angeles; he also had deployments to Liberia, Kosovo, Albania and Afghanistan.

On Jan. 1, 2013, he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Two men in formal attire pose for a photo.
Paxton and Riggle
Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., left, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, poses for a photo with retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Robert Riggle during a reception at the Reserve Officers Association Stars Foundation Gala in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014.
Photo By: Marine Corps Cpl. Tia Dufou
VIRIN: 140304-M-KS211-001C

Among his awards were two Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Combat Action Ribbon, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.


Over the years, Riggle went overseas a number of times to entertain troops in USO shows.


In a May 31, 2013, interview with ABC News Angel Canales, Riggle offered this advice to military veterans: "Seek out mentors, people who are doing what you want to do. You have to decide what you want and have a goal. Don't worry about how you're going to do it. Just trust that you'll get there. There's no better citizen than a veteran. There's so much waiting for you outside, and it's not something to be intimidated by or scared by, it is something to be embraced. Decide what you want, and go get it."

A man is strapped into a jet by another man.
Riggle's Ride
Comedian and retired Marine Lt. Col. Rob Riggle prepares for a ride in an F/18 Hornet with the Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration squadron at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., March 11, 2014.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald
VIRIN: 140311-N-SH953-549

More About Riggle

Riggle was born April 21, 1970, in Louisville, Kentucky. His family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, when he was two. He attended Shawnee Mission South High School, where he was involved in the school's radio and TV stations. He was voted the most humorous in high school and graduated in 1988.

A smiling man holds a microphone; behind him, a banner spells out USO.
Riggle and USO
Comedian Rob Riggle, a retired Marine, performs at a USO show in Incirlik, Turkey, Dec. 8, 2014.
Photo By: D. Myles Cullen, DOD
VIRIN: 141208-D-VO565-040
A man performs on stage before a group of service members; a giant U.S. flag is on the wall to the right.
Riggle Performance
Comedian Rob Riggle, a retired Marine, performs in a USO show at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2014.
Photo By: D. Myles Cullen, DOD
VIRIN: 141208-D-VO565-027C

He then attended the University of Kansas, where he graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in Theater and Film. 

Riggle's career has included:

  • Appearing as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2004 to 2005.
  • Acting in the 2006 movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."
  • Appearing as a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" from 2006 to 2008.
  • Acting in 2009 "The Hangover;" 2010 "Furry Vengeance;" 2011 "Larry Crowne;" 2015 "Absolutely Anything;" and, 2018 "Night School."
  • Playing Gil Thorpe on the television sitcom "Modern Family" from 2013 to 2019.
  • Appearing in 2014 "Dumb and Dumber To."

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