Brian Palermo

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Brian Palermo
Brian Palermo, 2019.jpg
Brian Joseph Palermo
OccupationActor, comedian, and science communicator
Years active1994–present

Brian Palermo is an American character actor, science communicator, and comedian. He has appeared in a number of television shows, commercials and movies. Palermo is also a writer whose credits include Warner Brothers' Histeria! and Disney's The Weekenders and Dave The Barbarian, both created by Doug Langdale. He is also a co-author with Randy Olson and Dorie Barton of the 2003 book, Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking.


His film credits include The Social Network, My Life In Ruins, Daddy Day Care and Big Momma's House among others. Television credits include Entourage, Friends, Gary Unmarried, 90210, Zeke and Luther, The Middle, State of Georgia, Will and Grace, Digimon Data Squad, Malcolm In The Middle, Henry Danger, and Danger Force.[1]

Palermo has appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[2] though in April 2011 he started doing "correspondent" pieces where he played "The Humanalyzer," pretending he can analyze dreams to prove how gullible people are. These are introduced live by Palermo and Jay Leno. [3] Palermo has also appeared as a recurring character on Tyler Perry's House of Payne as Phil who adopts a fake French accent and persona as "Phillipe."

Palermo is a member of the improvisational and sketch comedy group called "The Groundlings," based in Hollywood, California. He both performs and teaches with this company. He has performed alongside many well-known comedians such as Will Ferrell, Eddie Izzard and Harland Williams.[4]

Palermo won the 1988 "Big Easy" award for Best Actor for his role as "Teach" in David Mamet's American Buffalo.

Palermo appeared on the podcast Skepticality, where he spoke to host Derek Colanduno about teaching improv for 15 years at The Groundlings. He came to use improv to help scientists improve their communication skills thanks to Randy Olson. He states: "The idea is to get people's attention with the emotional stuff first, then hit them with the substance." He got a series of small parts in cinema, played a computer science professor in the movie The Social Network, he also had a part in Thank You for Smoking and others. "The book brings a very cerebral subject down to a level that almost everybody can understand."[5]

Palermo ran a hands-on workshop at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in February 2020 on "How to Make Your Science Communication More Effective."[6]

His Palermo Improv Training project is a consultancy whose goal is to facilitate improv training for various applications within the worlds of corporate, science communication and improv comedy. According to Palermo, "An alarmingly large number of the world's population are misinformed and uninterested in scientific issues that have incredible impacts on all of our lives. And part of correcting this situation must be improving our science communications with people at every level of our societies. But most scientists get precious little communications training." His clients include Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Park Service, and the USDA. [7]

In 2003, Palermo, along with Randy Olson and Dorie Barton, published Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking. The book brings together a former scientist (Olson), a story consultant (Barton), and an improv actor (Palermo) to explain how critical thinking in science combined with a century of Hollywood knowledge is used in the creation and shaping of stories. It also provides the narrative tools for effective communication.


  • Palermo, Brian (2003). Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking. Australia: Prairie Starfish Productions. ISBN 978-0615872384.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Hollywood Dreams Larry
1995 Hollywood Dreams: Take 2 Larry
1996 Love Me Twice Matt
1999 The Thirteenth Year Starter #1 TV film
2000 In God We Trust Radio DJ Short film
Big Brother Trouble Coffee House Manager
Big Momma's House Cazwell
2003 Welcome to the Neighbourhood Bruce
Daddy Day Care Skeptical Father
Dinner with Fival Brad Norton Short film
2004 Who Dead It? Mayor Jeffery Chancer Direct-to-video
2005 Kicking & Screaming Beantown Customer
Rebound Alumni Association Member #1
Dinner Conversation Stephen Short film
Thank You for Smoking FBI Agent
I'm Not Gay Alex Short film
2006 You Did What? Andy Pztarski
Soup of the Day Todd
The Enigma with a Stigma Finnius J. Whippie
2007 Women on Top Kyle Rancor
Jekyll John
Hell on Earth Luc TV film
2009 Shrink Mitch
My Life in Ruins Marc
Arrow Heads Schoolboy Short film
2010 Fudgy Wudgy Fudge Face Dr. Cinnamon Eyes Short film
The Social Network CS Lab Professor
Love Shack Ted Haynes Direct-to-video
2011 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer Zombie
Answers to Nothing Bill
One Sharp Girl Mr. Sharp TV film
Let Go Dress Salesman
2012 Girl vs. Monster Steve Lewis TV film
Shmagreggie Saves the World Jim TV film
2013 Breaking Belding Mr. Belding/Walter White Short film
2016 Pee-wee's Big Holiday Marvin
2017 Tangoborn Menclenty Publisher
Almost Vegas Gary Smith TV film
2018 Vicarious Kyle TV film
The Happytime Murders Paramedic
2020 The Pack Podcast Payne Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Animal Tales Clark
1998 Suddenly Susan Larry the Paramedic Episode: "Ready...Aim...Fong!"
Baywatch Carl Episode: "To the Max"
Damon D.E.A. Man Episode: "Under Covers"
The Closer Russ Episode: "My Best Friend's Funeral"
The Hughleys White Guy #1 Episode: "Pilot"
The Secret Lives of Men Patient Episode: "Phil's Problem"
Man in Clinic Episode: "The Bird"
1998-2010 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Various roles Recurring, 9 episodes
1999 Veronica's Closet Usher Episode: "Veronica's Night at the Theater"
Will & Grace Brian Kelly Episode: "To Serve and Disinfect"
1999-2002 Family Law Neil Sefton Recurring role, 3 episodes
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm Brian Episode: "Porno Gil"
3rd Rock from the Sun Steve Episode: "Dick Solomon's Day Off"
Mr. Barnes Episode: "Red, White & Dick"
2001 Jack & Jill Wedding Guest Episode: "What Weddings Do to People"
Three Sisters Customer Episode: "The Dry Spell"
For Your Love Episode: "The Rules of Engagement"
JAG Motorist Episode: "Adrift"
2002 That '80s Show Kenmore Recurring role, 3 episodes
According to Jim Bartender Episode: "No Surprises"
Crossing Jordan Lewis Pate Episode: "The Truth Is Out There"
2003 Good Morning, Miami Trip Episode: "The Ex Games"
Grounded for Life Jeff Episode: "Ticket to Ride"
2004 I'm with Her Clerk Episode: "Party of Two"
Friends Another Passenger Episode: "The Last One"
One on One Mr. Evans Episode: "Lost in the Headlights"
Significant Others James Series regular, 12 episodes
2005 Huff Doug Coleman Episode: "Christmas Is Ruined"
Everwood Rick Episode: "A Mountain Town"
2006 Monk Shirt Salesman Episode: "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show"
Malcolm in the Middle Steve Episode: "Mono"
The Unit National Guard Commander Episode: "First Responders"
Sons & Daughters Colleen's Doctor Episode: "Hospital Visit"
Lovespring International Client's Boyfriend Episode: "Burke Makes a Friend"
Kekkaishi Toshihiko Tsukijigaoka Episode: "The Best Cake in the World"
Big Day Jean-Pierre Episode: "Alice Can't Dance"
2006-2008 Digimon Akihiro Kurata Series regular, 18 episodes
2007 Entourage Real Estate Agent Episode: "Adios, Amigos"
2008 Hollywood Residential Todd Episode: "Where's Tom?"
Gary Unmarried Jim Episode: "Gary and Allison Brooks"
Heroes Rental Car Agent Episode: "The Eclipse: Part 1"
2009 Trust Me Richard Donarelli Episode: "Au Courant"
Psych: Flashback to the Teen Years Job Fair Guy Episode: "Job Un-Fair"
2009-2011 In Gayle We Trust Mike Evans Series regular, 8 episodes
2010 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Phillipe Recurring role, 3 episodes
Warren the Ape MTV Exec #1 Episode: "Bad Po-Fo"
2011 90210 Giles Scott Episodes: "Revenge with the Nerd" & "It's High Time"
The Middle Phil Bickel Episode: "Royal Wedding"
Svetlana Lee Ashton Episode: "Season 2, Episode 4"
State of Georgia Brady Episode: "Best Friends For-Never"
Love Bites Rick Rondo Episode: "Boys to Men"
Good Luck Charlie Danny Flufferman Episode: "Return to Super Adventure Land"
2011-2012 Fresh Hell Tommy Series regular, 9 episodes
2012 Zeke and Luther Episode: "Inside Luther's Brain"
2013 2 Broke Girls Pilot Bill Episode: "And Just Plane Magic"
Anger Management Proscutor Episode: "Charlie Is an Expert Witness"
Modern Family Dryden Dad Episode: "The Future Dunphys"
Maron Teddy Episode: "Marc's Dad"
The League Taco Truck Customer Episode: "The Bye Week"
2014 Brian Episode: "Ménage à Cinq"
See Dad Run Director Episodes: "See Dad Watch Janie Run Away" & "See Dad Fire Original Katie... Again"
2015 Major Crimes Avery Cook Episode: "Thick as Thieves"
2016 Bungo Stray Dogs Guy Episode: "Teaching Them to Kill, Then to Die"
Motojirou Kajii Episode: "The Strategy of Conflict"
2017 The Adventures of Puss in Boots Various roles Episode: "Too Many Cats"
Bizarre Bloopers Narrator
2018 The Arrangement Howie Tarses Episode: "Surface Tension"
Nobodies Warm-Up Comic Episode: "Tape Night"
2019 Ultraman Mitsuhiro Ide 2 episodes
Mood Swings Dr. Sitwell
2020 Henry Danger Mr. Wallabee Episode: "Mr. Nice Guy"
Grown-ish Johnny Episode: "Thinkin Bout You"
2021 Danger Force Mr. Nice Guy Episode: "Miles Has Visions"
The Rigmarole Improvisor Episode: "A Punishing Victory"


  1. ^ "Jay Leno Show". Facebook. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Jay Leno photo". Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  3. ^ "The Groundlings". The Groundlings Theatre and School. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  4. ^ Skepticality #218 - Make A Connection - Interviews: Randy Olson, Brian Palermo, and Dorie Barton (Podcast). November 5, 2013. Event occurs at 48:40.
  5. ^ "Make Your Science Communication More Effective". Ocean Science Meetings. American Geophysical Union. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ Palermo, Brian. "Palermo Improv Training". Palermo Improv Training.

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