Dan Cortese

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This article is about the actor. For the baseball player, see Dan Cortes.
Dan Cortese
Born Daniel James Cortese
(1967-09-14) September 14, 1967 (age 49)
Sewickley, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater University of North Carolina
Occupation Actor, director, spokesperson
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Dee Dee Hemby
(1994-: divorce filed)
Children 2

Daniel James "Dan" Cortese (born September 14, 1967) is an American actor, director and spokesperson. He is known for his roles as Perry Rollins on Veronica's Closet and as Vic Meladeo on What I Like About You.

Early life[edit]

Of Sicilian descent, Cortese was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Quaker Valley High School in Leetsdale, where he played football and basketball.[1][2] Prior to becoming an actor, Cortese played college football as a walk-on at the University of North Carolina as a backup quarterback.[3] In his freshman year in 1986, the Tar Heels went to the Aloha Bowl in Hawaii. Cortese never played a down and graduated from UNC with a B.A. in broadcasting.


Cortese first came to prominence as team coach of The Bricklayers on MTV Rock N' Jock and host of MTV Sports from 1992 to 1997. In 1994, he co-starred on the short-lived CBS police drama Traps with George C. Scott. He gained further recognition in 1995 as Jess Hanson in Melrose Place.[4] He played Jake Hanson's half brother for 8 episodes in the third season but was killed off in that season's finale. He had the main role as Jason in the 1996 movie The Lottery. He had starring roles in the 1993 remake/sequel of Route 66, Traps, The Single Guy, Veronica's Closet (in which he played Perry for three seasons), Rock Me Baby and Ball & Chain.

Cortese appeared in the NBC television series Seinfeld, where he played Tony, Elaine's ultra-cool, vapid, good-looking boyfriend. In the episode, entitled "The Stall", he was dubbed a "mimbo" (a male bimbo). He was also featured in The WB television series What I Like About You in a recurring role as Vic, Val's boss, from 2002 to 2003 a role he reprised as a series regular from 2005 to 2006 during the fourth and final season, which he directed one episode and in two episodes of 8 Simple Rules in 2004, playing Bridget's tennis coach. He has also starred in the natural horror film Locusts: The 8th Plague.

During Burger King's "Your Way, Right Away" advertising campaign during the 1990s, Cortese was hired as the fast-food company's official spokesperson.

He was the host of My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, which aired on NBC for one season before being cancelled. Dan then appeared on the first season of Superstars as the partner of Lisa Leslie.

In 2008, Cortese landed a role in Soccer Mom as a famous Italian soccer player alongside Emily Osment.

He was the co-host of the ABC game show, Crash Course (which was canceled after 4 episodes) and hosts VH-1's Money Hungry.

Cortese was a guest-star on the Hot in Cleveland episode (#3.8) entitled 'God and Football' playing Jimmy Armstrong.

In 2013, Cortese serves as the host of truTV's Guinness World Records Unleashed. The series debuted on February 7, 2013.

On October 11, 2014, while reprising his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live, Bill Hader continually mentions Dan Cortese's name (mispronouncing it as "Cortez") during the show's Weekend Update segment when he speaks of New York City's hot spots.[5][6]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Demolition Man Taco Bell Entertainer/Cryolab Technician
1996 The Lottery Jason Smith
2000 After Sex John
2005 Locusts: The 8th Plague Colt Denton
2007 Everybody Wants to Be Italian Michael
2008 Soccer Mom Lorenzo Vincenzo
Year Title Role Notes
1988 Something Is Out There Jack Breslin
1994 Seinfeld Tony Episode: "The Stall"
1995 Melrose Place Jess Hanson
1996 Caroline in the City Scott
1997 The Single Guy Dan Montgomery
1997 Volcano: Fire on the Mountain Peter Slater
2000 Baby Blues Ray
2000 That's Life Professor Jeff Cahill
1997–2000 Veronica's Closet Perry Rollins / Laird Perry Rollins
2001 The Triangle Tommy Devane
2001 Inside Schwartz Chuck
2002 House Blend Dave Reed
2002 Andy Richter Controls the Universe Ben / Peter
2003–2004 Rock Me Baby (TV series) Jimmy Cox
2004 8 Simple Rules Coach Scott
2004 CSI: Miami Sal Coleman
2005 Joey Chuck (TV series, 1 episode: "Joey and the Stuntman")
2003, 2005-2006 What I Like About You Vic Meladeo (Season 1 guest, Season 4 Main)
2009 Surviving Suburbia Onno
2010 Castle Howard Weisberg
2011 Man Up! Dennis Mayder
2012 Hot in Cleveland Jimmy Armstrong (TV series, 1 episode: "God and Football")
2013–present Guinness World Records Gone Wild Host


  1. ^ Morrison, Melissa (July 23, 1992). "QV graduate hosting MTV Sports". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. (Dallas Morning News). p. B2. 
  2. ^ "Dan Cortese Biography (1967-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  3. ^ "1987 UNC Tarheels Football Roster". Tarheeltimes. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dan Cortese". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  5. ^ Prachi Gupta (October 13, 2014). "John Mulaney's Dan Cortese line made Bill Hader break character". Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ Mike Krumboltz (October 12, 2014). "Stefon of 'SNL' Mentions Dan Cortese, Twitter Goes Wild". Retrieved September 28, 2016.