Born in California and raised in Lindenwold, NJ, Derek Gaines found his comedy while growing up in the Philadelphia area. He currently calls New York City home where he has honed his craft and performs nightly as a standup comedian. Derek's first big break came as a semi-finalist of Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes. From there Derek was inevitably destined for stardom. He was chosen as a New Face of comedy at the Just For Laughs Festival in 2014. Derek appeared on several MTV programs including Joking Off and Guy Code, eventually hosting his own series called Broke Ass Game Show.
Derek was cast in recurring roles on NBC reboot of Will and Grace and Blue Bloods on CBS. He became a regular on TBS's Last O.G. as the character JAYBIRD. In 2020 Derek made his film debut starring in The King of Staten Island opposite Pete Davidson. In 2020, Derek released his self produced comedy special Why Was I Home Anyway? and followed that with a Netflix is a Joke standup special in 2022. He was nominated for a daytime Emmy in 2021 for his performance on the APPLE TV kid's show Helpsters where he played the role of Isaac Ice. Derek is currently a staff writer for the new season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central as well as the upcoming comedy series Bupkis on Peacock.