Ty Barnett was born, raised and attended high school on the south side of Chicago. After high school, came a six-year stint in the United States Army from which he was discharged in 1996. Thereafter, he moved to Tacoma, began touring in California, Oregon and Canada and was voted "Up-and-coming Comedian of the Year" in 2002 at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. He first gained the attention of Hollywood after being named "Outstanding Performer" at Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival. In 2003, he made it to the semi-finals of CBS's Star Search and by 2005 first appeared on CBS's The Late Late Show.