DU Alumni / Magazine Feature / Uncategorized

Business-school grad Rob Gleeson does a stint in Showtime’s ‘House of Lies’

“[DU is] a place where I could do everything from test new stuff to see old friends," says Rob Gleeson, left. "It’s an incredible ally to have a university on your side.” Photo courtesy of Showtime

“[DU is] a place where I could do everything from test new stuff to see old friends,” says Rob Gleeson, left. “It’s an incredible ally to have a university on your side.” Photo courtesy of Showtime

Rob Gleeson (BSBA ’10) isn’t just a business-school grad in real life — he also plays one on TV.

Gleeson, 26, played Jeffrey, a quiet, intense “numbers guy,” on season three of Showtime’s comedy series “House of Lies,” which stars former Denverite Don Cheadle as a ruthless management consultant. The third season, which ran January through April, found Cheadle’s character leaving Galweather & Stearn to open his own shop; Gleeson played one of the new company’s junior analysts.

“I’m one of the few people on the show who went to business school,” says Gleeson, 26. “Having that background is really nice, because it’s a lot of financial jargon they throw around on the show. I can walk on the set knowing what this world is like because I went to school for finance and I have a lot of friends who are working in that sector now.”

The role is Gleeson’s latest step in a career that includes standup comedy — he tours to more than 20 colleges each year — a 2012 AT&T ad campaign with Will Arnett, and guest appearances on TV shows such as “How I Met Your Mother” and “iCarly.”

Gleeson started his comedy career while he was studying at the University of Denver, performing at open-mics around the city as well as on the DU campus for various school organizations. Recently he has added more personal stories to his act, even adding jokes about coming out of the closet as gay.

“I found I’d just hit a wall with my material and I felt like it was time,” Gleeson told the Denver Post in January. “The only way to get over that hurdle was to start talking more about my personal life, and it’s resonated really well.”

Gleeson returns to his alma mater a couple of times a year, performing at orientation events for first-year students and at an ethics boot camp for business students. He says he enjoys keeping the University of Denver a part of his life.

“It’s an incredible community for me to come back to because they’re so supportive,” he says. “It’s a place where I could do everything from test new stuff to see old friends. It’s an incredible ally to have a university on your side.”

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