Kevin Pollak

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Kevin Pollak
KevinPollakMar08.jpg
Pollak in March 2008
Birth name Kevin Elliot Pollak
Born (1957-10-30) October 30, 1957 (age 59)
San Francisco, California, United States
Spouse Lucy Webb (m. 1995; div. 2008)

Kevin Elliot Pollak (born October 30, 1957) is an American actor, impressionist, and comedian. He started performing stand-up comedy at the age of 10 and touring professionally at the age of 20. In 1988, he landed a role in Willow, his first major role in a film. Pollak is an avid poker player, hosting weekly home games with some of Hollywood's A-list celebrities. He finished 134th out of 6,598 entrants in the 2012 World Series of Poker, his winnings totaling to $52,718.

Early life[edit]

Pollak was born in San Francisco, California, to a Jewish family.[3] He is the youngest son of Elaine Harlow and Robert "Bobby" Pollak. He has one older brother, who lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.[4] He attended high school at Pioneer High School in San Jose, California.

Career[edit]

Pollak in April 2011

Acting[edit]

As an actor, Pollak's most notable roles are usually playing the best friend or confidant characters to the leading men, as he did in Ricochet (1991), A Few Good Men (1992), End of Days (1999), and The Wedding Planner (2001). However, he has also played a wide variety of parts, such as a criminal in The Usual Suspects (1995) and a gangster in The Whole Nine Yards (2000). He also briefly hosted Celebrity Poker Showdown in its first season. His most substantial role to date was in Deterrence (1999), in which he played the main character, a Vice President who must take over for a deceased President and deal with a nuclear crisis.

In December 2006, he played Karl Kreutzfeld in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Lost Room. Through 2008, he had a recurring role as a District Attorney on the television series Shark. In March 2008, Pollak played himself in the web series The Writers Room on Crackle.[5] In 2010, he portrayed Sheriff Tom Wagner in Choose.[6]

In January 2010, Pollak was scheduled to host Our Little Genius on FOX, but the series was pulled before it could air on television. Pollak was then seen hosting Million Dollar Money Drop, again on the FOX network at the end of 2010.

In 2014, Pollak began a recurring role as Alvin Biletnikoff on the CBS sitcom Mom. However, his time on the show was cut short by the death of his character.

Directing[edit]

Pollak's directorial debut was on the horror web series Vamped Out, featured on the internet television platform Babelgum.[7] Jason Antoon, Seana Kofoed, Samm Levine and Pollak all acted in the ensemble cast. The screenbook was based on a simple joke that Antoon and Pollak had between them.[8] Most recently, Pollak's feature film directorial debut, the comedy documentary Misery Loves Comedy, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The film sold North American rights to Tribeca Film, a US distribution company.

Pollak directed the comedy film The Late Bloomer, which was released in 2016.[9]

Stand-up[edit]

As a comedian, Pollak's most famous work was his 1992 HBO special Stop With the Kicking, directed by fellow comedian David Steinberg and produced by comedy writer Martin Olson. In July 2009, The Littlest Suspect, his most recent comedy special, was aired on Showtime.

Celebrity impressions[edit]

Kevin Pollak's Chat Show[edit]

In April 2009, Pollak partnered with Jason Calacanis on a weekly Internet talk show, Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. Guests for the show include film directors Kevin Smith and Mike Binder, comedians Jimmy Pardo and Bill Burr, and actors Nia Vardalos, Illeana Douglas, Bryan Cranston, Dana Carvey, Matthew Perry, Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Adam Carolla, Anthony Cumia, Jason Alexander, Seth MacFarlane, Tom Hanks, and Jason Lee.

The guest interviews are very in-depth and typically longer than an hour in duration, sometimes exceeding two hours. Common topics include the guests' childhoods, how they got into the business they are in (typically show business), how they got inspired to start certain creative endeavors, and unique experiences they have had while working. Viewers can interact via chat room during the show, and sometimes questions for the guest posed in the chat room are answered live.

The show's self-described "Paul Shaffer" is actor Samm Levine.

Recurring segments and bits on the show include:

  • "The Larry King Game", which requires the guest to do a bad Larry King impression, reveal something about oneself (in the persona of Larry King) and then go to the phones and say a funny-sounding city
  • "Tweet Five," where Pollak reads the guest five questions from a Twitter user, usually in a this-or-that style
  • "Who Tweeted", in which a host (typically Samm Levine) reads tweets from the Twitter accounts of three female celebrities (the list of actresses varies, but typically includes Demi Moore (or, more recently, Justin Bieber), Tyra Banks, and Paris Hilton) and Pollak and his guest compete against each other game-show-style to guess who authored each tweet.
  • "You're Not Buffering", in which Pollack freezes mid-statement during his interview as though the show has paused due to internet lag, but he's actually still live. He then breaks his pause and says, "You're not buffering." Although a simple gag, it's humorous and characterizes Pollack's dry humor.

In 2012, Pollak began a new podcast called Talkin Walkin in which he spends an hour or more with a new guest in character as Christopher Walken. After three episodes, the show was rated in the top 5 of all comedy podcasts by iTunes.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Right Stuff Dwight D. Eisenhower (voice) Uncredited[10]
1987 Million Dollar Mystery Officer Quinn First credited role in a motion picture
1988 Willow Rool
1990 Avalon Izzy Kirk
1991 L.A. Story Frank Swan
Another You Phil
Ricochet Larry Doyle
1992 The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them Eli
A Few Good Men LTJG Sam Weinberg, JAGC
1993 Indian Summer Brad Berman
Wayne's World 2 Jerry Segel
Grumpy Old Men Jacob Goldman
1994 ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter Spinlok Walt Disney World ride (has since been replaced with Stitch's Great Escape!)
Clean Slate Rosenheim
1995 Usual Suspects, TheThe Usual Suspects Todd Hockney National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Miami Rhapsody Jordan Marcus
Canadian Bacon Stu Smiley
Casino Phillip Green
Grumpier Old Men Jacob Goldman
Chameleon Matt Gianni
1996 House Arrest Ned Beindorf
That Thing You Do! Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich
1997 Truth or Consequences, N.M. Gordon Jacobson
1998 Buffalo '66 TV Sportscaster
Hoods Rudy
1999 Outside Ozona Wit Roy
Deal of a Lifetime Jerry
She's All That Wayne Boggs
The Sex Monster Dr. Jerry Berman
Deterrence President Walter Emerson
End of Days Bobby Chicago Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor (Action/Science-Fiction)
2000 The Whole Nine Yards Janni Pytor Gogolak
Steal This Movie! Gerry Lefcourt
2001 The Wedding Planner Dr. John Dojny
3000 Miles to Graceland Damitry
Dr. Dolittle 2 Riley/Alligator
2002 Stolen Summer Rabbi Jacobsen
Frank McKlusky, C.I. Ronnie Rosengold
Juwanna Mann Lorne Daniels
Mother Ghost Dr. Norris
The Santa Clause 2 Cupid
2003 Rolling Kansas Agent Brinkley Uncredited
Blizzard Archimedes
2004 Seven Times Lucky Harlan
The Whole Ten Yards Lazlo Gogolak
Our Time is Up Dr. Stern
Shark Tale Willie (voice)
2005 Hostage Walter Smith
Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Director (voice)
The Aristocrats Himself
2006 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Cupid
2007 Numb Tom
2008 Otis Eli
Tortured Dr. Shaw Straight to DVD
2009 2:13 Dr. Simmons
Middle Men Curt Allmans
2010 Columbus Circle Klandermann Also co-writer & co-executive producer
Cop Out Hunsaker
2011 Choose Sheriff Tom Wagner
Red State ASAC Brooks
The Big Year Eli
2012 The Magic of Belle Isle Joe Viola
2013 Chez Upshaw Heaton Upshaw Also producer
3 Geezers! Kevin
Max Rose Christopher Rose Cannes screening: May 2013
U.S. theatrical release: September 2016
Grace Unplugged Frank "Mossy" Mostin
2015 Borealis[11] Tubby
2016 Special Correspondents Geoffrey Mallard
War Dogs Ralph Slutzky
The Late Bloomer Director
2018 The Front Runner Bob Martindale Filming

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Amen Photographer Episode: "Thelma's Choice"
Thirtysomething Walter, the Bookstore Guy Episode: "But Not for Me"
Who's the Boss? Scott Episode: "Yellow Submarine"
1988–1989 Coming of Age Brian Brinker 15 episodes
1991 Morton & Hayes Chick Morton 6 episodes
1995–1996 The Drew Carey Show Mr. Bell 9 episodes
1997 Perversions of Science Pilot Episode: "Boxed In"
The Don's Analyst Dr. Julian Riceputo TV movie
1998 Ruby Bridges Dr. Robert Coles TV movie
From the Earth to the Moon Joe Shea Episode: "Apollo One"
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
1999–2000 Work with Me Jordan Better 5 episodes; also co-executive producer
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Grasshopper / Mouse (voice) Episode: "Aesop's Fables: A Whodunnit Musical"
2001 Ed William Johnson Episode: "Live Deliberately"
2002 Life with Bonnie Sidney Portinbody Episode: "Duets"
2006 The Lost Room Karl Kreutzfeld Miniseries; 3 episodes
2007 The Staircase Murders David Rudolf TV movie
2007–2008 Shark D.A. Leo Cutler 8 episodes
2008 Picture This Tom Gilbert TV movie
Entourage Mr. Bob Levine Episode: "The All Out Fall Out"
2008–2012 Easy to Assemble Kevin 4 episodes
2010 Vamped Out Elliot Finke Web series; also director, creator, writer, and producer
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Gerald Crane Episode: "Theatre Tricks"
Men at Work Pavel Episode: "Toilet of Eden"
Childrens Hospital Kevin Pollak Episode: "Eulogy"
2013 Family Tree Marty Schmelff Episode: "Indians"
2014 Garfunkel and Oates Andrew Episode: "Road Warriors"
2014, 2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Various 2 episodes
2014–2015 Mom Alvin Biletnikoff[12] 14 episodes
2015 House of Lies Joe Gideon Episode: "Everything's So F**king Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation"
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Fracture (voice) 4 episodes
2016 Angel from Hell Marv Fuller, M.D. 13 episodes
Angie Tribeca Lieutenant Weinberg Episode: "Beach Blanket Sting-O"
Drunk History Ciro Terranova Episode: "Food"
2017 The Good Fight Judge Kyle Gallo Episode: "Not So Grand Jury"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pollak, Kevin; Carvey, Dana (May 31, 2009). "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show" (Interview). Interview with Kevin Pollak. 
  2. ^ Pollak, Kevin; Azaria, Hank (August 23, 2009). "Kevin Pollak Chat Show" (Interview). Interview with Kevin Pollak. 
  3. ^ http://www.juf.org/celebrities/celebrity.aspx?id=40504
  4. ^ SMART MOUTH KEVIN POLLAK FEELS AT HOME WHETHER IT'S STAND-UP COMEDY IN A CLUB OR DRAMATIC TURNS ON THE SCREEN
  5. ^ "Fresh Chicken and Roadents Populate New Comedy Site". TV Guide. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  6. ^ You Have 60 Seconds to 'Choose' Who Dies: Your Mom or Dad?
  7. ^ Vamped Out – Babelgum
  8. ^ Exclusive: Kevin Pollak Talks Vamped Out
  9. ^ Kilday, Gregg (August 25, 2015). "Johnny Simmons Starring in Kevin Pollak's 'The Late Bloomer'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ [1] Kevin Pollak's Chat Show #125 Harry Shearer
  11. ^ "Borealis (programme note)". Calgary International Film Festival. Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  12. ^ "Kevin Pollak to Play Anna Faris' Father on CBS' 'Mom' (Exclusive)". TV Guide. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 

External links[edit]