The cool part about being from someplace else originally is the awe and surprise of learning about the area. AND, thusly, the famous people who happen to be from said place. New York is a big state. There must be plenty of note-worthy people (read: people the paparazzi would follow around to make a living in LA) from CNY and more specifically, The Syracuse/Utica area. So. Yes. I did what most idea adventurers do when looking for information about something-- I Googled.

I was so excited about my finds that I shared them with Dave Wheeler.


But Dave was entirely unimpressed. He grinned knowingly at me as though to say: "That's so cute, new person--not born and raised in this area. I know all the people who are from here." And then added his Dr. Evil laugh/giggle hybrid thing he does.  "Mwhahahahahahaaaa!"

Anyway. The funny thing about when people from an area "know everyone" from there-- is when they actually don't.

Here are some of the people I discovered are either from or have connection with the Syracuse/Utica area, via this brilliant article from Yes. I've included the people Dave didn't know about until I told him. I'm politely not mentioning which ones they are. Mwhahahahahahahaha!



Jerry Seinfeld

Comedians In Cars w. Jerry Seinfeld & Eddie Murphy ‑ LA Tastemaker
Getty Images for Netflix

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld went to SUNY Oswego for two years before transferring to Queens College and starting his career in New York City. Today he's still best known for the iconic television series "Seinfeld," The animated "Bee Movie," "The Marriage Ref," web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" collaborating with rapper Wale on the upcoming "The Album About Nothing" and more...

Tom Kenny

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2023 - Arrivals
Getty Images for Nickelodeon

East Syracuse native went to Bishop Grimes High School with filmmaker-comedian Bobcat Goldthwait but made a name for himself as the voice of the title character on the long-running cartoon series "SpongeBob SquarePants." Kenny also dabbled in music with the bands The Tearjerkers and The Trend, appeared in the Smashing Pumpkins music video for "Tonight, Tonight" and has also voiced characters for "Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated," "The Powerpuff Girls," "Futurama" and Michael Bay's "Transformers" movies.

Kevin James

2016 Summer TCA Tour - Day 15
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Comedian Kevin James attended SUNY Cortland before he became the well-known star of "King of Queens" and movies like "Hitch," "Grown-Ups" and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."


Richard Gere

City Harvest Presents The 2022 Gala: Red Supper Club - Inside
Getty Images for City Harvest

North Syracuse Central High School graduate Richard Gere played the trumpet and did gymnastics when he was living in CNY, but today is known as the star of movies like "Pretty Woman," "Chicago" and "An Officer and a Gentleman." The Golden Globe winner and human rights activist was also named People's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1999.


Viggo Mortenson

"Crimes Of The Future" New York Premiere
Getty Images

 American actor, writer, director, producer, musician, and multimedia artist. Born in Watertown, New York to a Danish father and American mother, he also lived in Argentina during his childhood. He is the recipient of various accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, and has been nominated for three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.

Remind me some day to tell you the compelling story about Bobcat Goldthwait who, btw, is also from CNY.

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