Brian Palermo

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Brian Palermo
Brian Palermo, 2019.jpg
Brian Joseph Palermo

(1966-09-12) September 12, 1966 (age 55)
OccupationActor, comedian, and science communicator
Years active1994–present

Brian Palermo (born September 12, 1966) 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!, Disney's Dave The Barbarian and Disney's The Weekenders. He is also a co-author with Randy Olson and Dorie Barton of the 2003 book, Connection: Hollywood Storytelling meets Critical Thinking.

Early life and education[edit]

Palermo was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attended St. Clement of Rome Elementary school, Archbishop Rummel High School and the University of New Orleans. He earned a B.A. in Communications.[citation needed]


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, and Malcolm In The Middle.[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, a Los Angeles theatre company. He came to use improv to help scientists improve their communication skills thanks to Randy Olson. "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. "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. CONNECTION 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. CONNECTION provides the narrative tools for effective communication.

  • — (2003). Connection: Hollywood Storytelling meets Critical Thinking. Australia: Prairie Starfish Productions. ISBN 978-0615872384.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Hollywood Dreams Larry
2003 Daddy Day Care Skeptical Father
2005 Kicking & Screaming Beantown Customer


  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.

External links[edit]