Brian Dunkleman (born September 25, 1971, in Ellicottville, New York) is a comedian and actor. He is best known as being co-host with Ryan Seacrest on the first season of American Idol on the Fox Network.
Dunkleman began doing stand-up comedy in 1992, winning the title Buffalo’s Funniest New Comedian. Since then he’s also performed at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen,NBC’s Late Friday, and TBS’s Very Funny at the Laugh Factory.He has also appeared on The Tonight Show.
In 2002 Dunkleman appeared as the co-host with Ryan Seacrest during the first season of American Idol. After the season ended, it was reported that he had quit from co-hosting. Various news outlets later on said that he “had his career completely destroyed” for doing so, before it became enormously popular and made Seacrest very wealthy. However, one journalist believes that Dunkleman would have been fired had he not quit earlier.
In 2000 Dunkleman appeared in “The One With The Ring”, a sixth season episode of Friends, as the man who buys the engagement ring Chandler wants to buy Monica.
Dunkleman has also appeared in pilots for ABC and 20th Century Fox and guest-starred on the late night talk show Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Ghost Whisperer and Las Vegas. He had a recurring guest role on Two Guys and a Girl, played a stand-up comic suspected of murder in NYPD Blue, and appeared in an independent film called Comedy Hell.