Brian Stack

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Brian Stack
Born (1964-08-18) August 18, 1964 (age 57)
OccupationActor, comedian, writer

Brian Stack (born August 18, 1964) is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his sketch comedy work. He worked on all three late-night talk shows hosted by Conan O'Brien including Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on NBC, and Conan on TBS. Stack left Conan in April 2015 to join the writing staff of the CBS series The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Career[edit]

Stack got his start in comedy with the improv comedy troupe The Second City[1] in Chicago, working alongside fellow comedians such as Amy Poehler.[2]

Late Night with Conan O'Brien[edit]

Stack became a sketch writer on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1997,[1] and served as a writer and actor on the show. The first sketch he wrote for the show was the inaugural iteration of the running gag "Andy’s Little Sister, Stacy," in which Stack's former Chicago improv colleague Amy Poehler portrayed the 13-year-old younger sibling of O'Brien's sidekick, Andy Richter, whose unrequited crush on O'Brien manifests in a range of emotion that runs "from adorable bashfulness to volcanic, homicidal rage." Stack would later say of Poehler in a 2021 Washington Post interview, "I’ve always been in awe of her incredible talent, but seeing her, Conan and Andy [Richter] have so much fun in that sketch is an especially wonderful memory for me and I’ll never forget it."[2][3]

Stack first appeared onscreen when one of the writers asked him to play a doctor in a sketch in which he had no dialogue. One of the first characters he did on the show was Bathtime Bob the Hygiene Cowboy, who sang about bath time, but like many of Stack's characters, there was a dark, tragic underbelly to his upbeat nature. Stack had previously tried to develop this character at Second City, but it never appeared in any shows.[4]

Stack remained with O'Brien after O'Brien's move to The Tonight Show in 2009. Stack played many recurring characters on the show, most notably those clad in anachronistic or elaborate outfits, and was known for playing many characters with long beards and mustaches, such as God, Zeus, Socrates, Gandalf, Dumbledore, and The Interrupter. Jeff Loveness of Jimmy Kimmel Live has observed of Stack's characters that there was "such a sadness to each character, but they would not acknowledge their sadness", an assessment that Stack agrees with.[4] Stack has further explained that, "My favorite kind of comedy on the late-night has always been the non-topical silly stuff where it's not really at anybody's expense. My least favorite kind of joke is a celebrity joke, because it tends to be very familiar or sometimes very mean, and if it's not mean it doesn't even work, usually...But my favorite kind of comedy on late night is at no one's expense but the character that's involved in the sketch where you're not really going after anybody."[4] Stack made occasional appearances on The Tonight Show, such as when he played an NRA spokesman who intimates violence to accomplish his agenda.

Among the characters he portrayed:

Stack also created the recurring segment "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage",[citation needed] and his voice work on the show included provided the voices of numerous celebrities parodied in the Syncro-Vox faux interviews conducted by O'Brien, including Dick Cheney, Mike Tyson, and Martha Stewart.[citation needed]

Conan recurring characters[edit]

Stack continued his work on O'Brien's TBS series, Conan. His last episode aired on April 2, 2015, with Stack in a sketch as The Interrupter where he and his character bade farewell to the series.[14]

Among his recurring characters:

  • James Sinclair St. Wallins, Audiencey Awards Fashion Correspondent.
  • Brian LaFontaine, Singer on "Basic Cable Name That Tune". Conan frequently expresses his contempt for this character, making comments such as "Hate that guy" or "Easily my least favorite person".
  • Voiceover of Minty, the Candy Cane That Briefly Fell on the Ground, singing the theme song for "Minty the Candycane Who Briefly Fell On The Ground" (played by Brian McCann).
  • Joe Galliano, John Galliano's 'brother' who Conan interviews, generally in response to comments made by John Galliano. Joe tries to defend his brother while changing into ridiculous hats every time the camera switches back to Conan.
  • Wiki Bear, Stack provides the voice of 2014 recurring character "Wiki Bear", a teddy bear who has a vast knowledge of very disturbing facts.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert[edit]

After fellow Second City alumnus Stephen Colbert succeeded David Letterman as the host of the CBS series Late Show, Stack left Conan, and returned to New York to take a job on the Late Show writing staff.[1] He voices the characters of "Cartoon Donald Trump", "God," and "The Ghost of Abraham Lincoln" on the show.[1]

Other work[edit]

Stack played "Special Agent in Charge" in the 1997 movie Spaceman.

Stack played Howard Jorgensen on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock in the episodes "Jack Meets Dennis", "Succession" and "Larry King".

Stack co-starred as "The World's Tallest Nebraskan" in the Comedy Central animated series Freak Show in 2006.

Stack played Mark, an employee of the Buffalo branch who becomes angry when learning the branch is being shut down, in "Company Picnic", the May 14, 2009 fifth season finale, and 100th episode, of the American version of The Office.

Stack played a cop in "First Date", the April 4, 2013 second season episode of the FOX sitcom New Girl. That same year, he appeared as Ted in the TV series Parks and Recreation, a role that recurred into 2014.[episode needed]

On October 13, 2013, Stack played Don in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force season ten, episode season "Piranha Germs". On July 26, 2015, he played Mappy the Map in the season eleven episode "Knapsack!"

Stack is a frequent performer in the ASSSSCAT improvisational comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City and Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Voice work[edit]

He provided voices for numerous characters in the video games Deer Avenger (1998) and Deer Avenger 2: Deer in the City (1999), which were written by Stack's fellow Late Night writer/actor Brian McCann, and which co-starred McCann, Tina Fey, Jon Glaser, and Amy Poehler.

In 2000, Stack played "Whiskers" in "Western Day", the December 6, 2000 pilot episode of Robert Smigel's TV series TV Funhouse.

In 2012 Stack provided the voice for the Airplane Pilot in Hotel Transylvania.

Stack voiced the CEO in the web series Talking Tom and Friends

Personal life[edit]

Stack is married to actress Miriam Tolan, another Second City alum, regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre,[citation needed] and former correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart who has also appeared in the movie The Heat and on shows like 30 Rock, The League, At Home with Amy Sedaris and Jon Glaser Loves Gear.[15]

Awards[edit]

  • As a member of Late Night's writing staff, Stack won five Writers Guild Awards for Writing in a Comedy/Variety Series for 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. He was also nominated in 1999, 2001, and 2004.
  • Stack was also nominated for an Emmy Award every year since 1998 for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program as a member of the writing team, winning in 2007.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wright, Megh (April 2, 2015). "Longtime 'Conan' Writer Brian Stack Is Headed to 'Late Show with Stephen Colbert'". Vulture. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Yahr, Emily (June 23, 2021). "End of a late-night era: 28 years of memorable Conan moments". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 23, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Stack, Brian (October 8, 1997). "Andy's Little Sister Stacy". Late Night with Conan O'Brien. NBC. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ a b c d Wright, Megh (September 3, 2014). "Sketch Anatomy: Brian Stack on the Traveling Salesman and His Conan Characters". Vulture. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  5. ^ Satellite TV Channels: The Greatest Hits - "Late Night With Conan O'Brien", archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  6. ^ Guys From Another Dimension - 1998, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  7. ^ Jeremy and Ira, Two Guys from Another Dimension - 9/16/1998, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  8. ^ Jeremy & Ira - 12/16/98, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  9. ^ Captain Barnacle and Kilty McBagpipes - 2/29/2000, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  10. ^ Kilty McBagpipes - 3/17/2004, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  11. ^ Steve St. Helens & Celebrity Survey - 10/5/2004, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  12. ^ Late Night 'St. Helen's Major Eruption! 10/8/04, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 7, 2021
  13. ^ Stack, Brian (December 4, 2014). "As Steve St. Helens, the stagehand who was about to erupt, at "Late Night" years ago". Twitter.
  14. ^ Wright, Megh (April 3, 2015). "Brian Stack Visits Conan O'Brien as The Interrupter One Last Time". Vulture. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Stone, Natalie (August 7, 2015). "7 Former 'Daily Show' Correspondents Who Didn't Attend Jon Stewart's Finale". The Hollywood Reporter.

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