Jonah Ray started his TV career as a writer’s assistant for The Andy Milonakis Show, as well as working as a writer and performer on Showtime‘s sketch comedy pilot The Offensive Show. He is also a frequent sketch and stand-up performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles and has made appearances on programs such as Saul of the Molemen, Crossballs, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! He also hosted “Joe Genius”, an online program about humor and homegrown science, on Revision3. Previously, he worked as a writer and occasional voice actor on Current TV‘s program SuperNews!. He previously wrote for Web Soup on the G4 network, and then The Soup on E!. He left The Soup in 2012.
Ray co-hosted a weekly comedy show called The Meltdown with Kumail Nanjiani, produced by Nanjiani’s wife, Emily V. Gordon, at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. In late June 2013 Comedy Central announced a television production of the show titled The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which debuted in July 2014. The show ended after three seasons in 2016.
Ray was one of Chris Hardwick‘s co-hosts of The Nerdist Podcast and television show. In February 2011, Ray revealed on an episode of the podcast that “Jonah’s Arcade”, a video gaming-comedy pilot he created and stars in, was not picked up by Comedy Central. The pilot was later released on YouTube, produced by the same producers of Web Soup.
In October 2012, Ray began hosting his own podcast Jonah Raydio featuring guests from various independent music scenes. Regular contributors and guests on the show include Man Man, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Pup, and Har Mar Superstar.
On a 2014 episode of his podcast, Ray announced the launch of his own record label through ATS, Literally Figurative Records, a comedy/music label aimed to feature “a comic on one side and band they are friends with on the other.”
On November 16, 2015, Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson announced plans for Ray to host the series’ upcoming continuation. The series was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and was released internationally by Netflix on April 14, 2017. Ray plays the character Jonah Heston for seasons 11 and 12. In April and May 2021, Joel Hodgson ran a second successful Kickstarter to produce season 13, in which Ray returns as Jonah Heston.