Kevin Pollak

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Kevin Pollak
KevinPollakMar08.jpg
Pollak in March 2008
BornKevin Elliot Pollak
(1957-10-30) October 30, 1957 (age 61)
San Francisco, California, United States
OccupationActor, comedian, impressionist
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)
Lucy Webb
(m. 1995; div. 2008)
Children2

Kevin Elliot Pollak (born October 30, 1957) is an American actor, impressionist, and comedian. He has appeared in over 80 films, his most notable roles including Sam Weinberg in the legal film A Few Good Men, Jacob Goldman in Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men; Todd Hockney in The Usual Suspects, Philip Green in Casino, and Bobby Chicago in End of Days. 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.[1] He is the youngest son of Elaine Harlow and Robert Pollak. He has one older brother, Craig, who lives with his family in San Jose, California.[2] He attended high school at Pioneer High School in San Jose.

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.[3] In 2010, he portrayed Sheriff Tom Wagner in Choose.[4]

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 for FOX at the end of 2010; the show ran for 12 episodes.

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.

In 2017, Pollak joined the cast of the Golden Globe winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an original series from Amazon, as Moishe Maisel, the main character's father-in-law.

Directing[edit]

Pollak's directorial debut was on the horror web series Vamped Out, featured on the internet television platform Babelgum.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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. Comedy Central named Kevin as of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time.

Celebrity impressions[edit]

Podcasting[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 Pollak 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 characterizes Pollak'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]

He is the only person to ever go "2 for 2" (two exact matches), as a guest on the Sklar Brothers/Daniel Van Kirk podcast Dumb People Town, in the "Guess the Age" game. The feat was completed on the episode released on April 2, 2018.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Right Stuff Dwight D. Eisenhower (voice) Uncredited[9]
1987 Million Dollar Mystery Officer Quinn
1988 Willow Rool
1990 Avalon Izzy Kirk
1991 L.A. Story Frank Swan
1991 Another You Phil
1991 Ricochet Larry Doyle
1992 The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them Eli
1992 A Few Good Men LTJG Sam Weinberg, JAGC
1993 Indian Summer Brad Berman
1993 Wayne's World 2 Jerry Segel
1993 Grumpy Old Men Jacob Goldman
1994 ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter Spinlok Walt Disney World ride (has since been replaced with Stitch's Great Escape!)
1994 Clean Slate Rosenheim
1995 The Usual Suspects Todd Hockney National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
1995 Miami Rhapsody Jordan Marcus
1995 Canadian Bacon Stu Smiley
1995 Casino Phillip Green
1995 Grumpier Old Men Jacob Goldman
1995 Chameleon Matt Gianni
1996 House Arrest Ned Beindorf
1996 That Thing You Do! Victor 'Boss Vic Koss' Kosslovich
1997 Truth or Consequences, N.M. Gordon Jacobson
1998 Buffalo '66 TV Sportscaster
1998 Hoods Rudy
1998 Outside Ozona Wit Roy
1999 Deal of a Lifetime Jerry
1999 She's All That Wayne Boggs
1999 The Sex Monster Dr. Jerry Berman
1999 Deterrence President Walter Emerson
1999 End of Days Bobby Chicago Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor (Action/Science-Fiction)
2000 The Whole Nine Yards Janni Pytor Gogolak
2000 Steal This Movie! Gerry Lefcourt
2001 The Wedding Planner Dr. John Dojny
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Damitry
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Riley/Alligator
2002 Stolen Summer Rabbi Jacobsen
2002 Frank McKlusky, C.I. Ronnie Rosengold
2002 Juwanna Mann Lorne Daniels
2002 Mother Ghost Dr. Norris
2002 The Santa Clause 2 Cupid
2003 Rolling Kansas Agent Brinkley Uncredited
2003 Blizzard Archimedes
2004 Seven Times Lucky Harlan
2004 The Whole Ten Yards Lazlo Gogolak
2004 Our Time is Up Dr. Stern
2004 Shark Tale Willie (voice)
2005 Hostage Walter Smith
2005 Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Director (voice)
2005 The Aristocrats Himself
2006 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Cupid
2006 Niagara Motel Michael
2007 Numb Tom
2008 Otis Eli
2008 Tortured Dr. Shaw Straight to DVD
2009 2:13 Dr. Simmons
2009 Middle Men Curt Allmans
2010 Cop Out Hunsaker
2011 Choose Sheriff Tom Wagner
2011 Red State ASAC Brooks
2011 The Big Year Eli
2012 Columbus Circle Klandermann Also co-writer & co-executive producer
2012 The Magic of Belle Isle Joe Viola
2013 Chez Upshaw Heaton Upshaw Also producer
2013 3 Geezers! Kevin
2013 A Country Christmas Max Schmucker
2013 Grace Unplugged Frank "Mossy" Mostin
2014 The One I Wrote for You Mickey
2015 Borealis[10] Tubby
2015 Camino Donald
2015 The Night Is Young Producer
2016 Max Rose Christopher Rose
2016 Compadres Tex The Banker
2016 Special Correspondents Geoffrey Mallard
2016 The Tiger Hunter Frank Womack
2016 War Dogs Ralph Slutzky
2016 The Late Bloomer Director
2017 Axis Cru (voice)
2017 Three Christs Dr. Orbus
2018 The Front Runner Bob Martindale

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor Voice Characterization Television film
1987 Amen Photographer Episode: "Thelma's Choice"
1987 Thirtysomething Walter, the Bookstore Guy Episode: "But Not for Me"
1987 Who's the Boss? Scott Episode: "Yellow Submarine"
1988–89 Coming of Age Brian Brinker 15 episodes
1990 Partners in Life Eddie Hayes Television film
1991 Morton & Hayes Chick Morton 6 episodes
1995–96 The Drew Carey Show Mr. Bell 9 episodes
1997 Perversions of Science Pilot Episode: "Boxed In"
1997 The Don's Analyst Dr. Julian Riceputo Television film
1998 Ruby Bridges Dr. Robert Coles Television film
1998 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 Television film
2007–08 Shark D.A. Leo Cutler 8 episodes
2008 Picture This Tom Gilbert Television film
2008 Entourage Mr. Bob Levine Episode: "The All Out Fall Out"
2008–12 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"
2012 Men at Work Pavel Episode: "Toilet of Eden"
2012 Childrens Hospital Kevin Pollak Episode: "Eulogy"
2013 Family Tree Marty Schmelff Episode: "Indians"
2014 Garfunkel and Oates Andrew Episode: "Road Warriors"
2014–15 Comedy Bang! Bang! Various 2 episodes
2014–15 Mom Alvin Biletnikoff[11] 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"
2015 Transformers: Robots in Disguise Fracture (voice) 4 episodes
2016 Angel from Hell Marv Fuller, M.D. 13 episodes
2016 Angie Tribeca Lieutenant Weinberg Episode: "Beach Blanket Sting-O"
2016 Drunk History Ciro Terranova Episode: "Food"
2017 The Good Fight Judge Kyle Gallo Episode: "Not So Grand Jury"
2017 Hot Date Father Episode: "Double Standards"
2017 Better Things Marion 2 episodes
2017 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Moishe Maisel 4 episodes
2018 NCIS Albert Hathaway Episode: "Keep Your Friends Close"
2018 The Simpsons Ross (voice) Episode: "3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage"
2018 The Comedy Central Roast Himself Episode: “Bruce Willis”

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JUF : Tweens : Celebrities : Kevin Pollak". Juf.org. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Mercury News: Search Results". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Fresh Chicken and Roadents Populate New Comedy Site". TV Guide. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  4. ^ "You Have 60 Seconds to 'Choose' Who Dies: Your Mom or Dad? - Bloody Disgusting". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Vamped Out – Babelgum". Babelgum.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Maniac (2012) - Dread Central". Dreadcentral.com. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. ^ Kilday, Gregg (August 25, 2015). "Johnny Simmons Starring in Kevin Pollak's 'The Late Bloomer'". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "Dumb People Town: Kevin Pollak - Hold On Loosely". Art19. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  10. ^ "Borealis (programme note)". Calgary International Film Festival. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  11. ^ "Kevin Pollak to Play Anna Faris' Father on CBS' 'Mom' (Exclusive)". TV Guide. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2013-12-16.

External links[edit]