“You Know, That Guy” is our attempt to celebrate those film actors who don’t have above the title marquee status but who deserve your attention and have paid their dues to earn your respect. You may not know their names but chances are good that you’ll recognize their faces because they’re you know, those guys!
Total on-screen appearances in movies or on TV (per the IMDb): 195
You’ve most likely seen him in:
- Memento – Sammy Jenkis
- Groundhog Day – Ned Ryerson
- Thelma and Louise – Max
- Heroes – Bob Bishop
Stephen Tobolowsky is so easy to recognize, it’s a miracle more people don’t already know him by name. Around since the 1970’s he is the quintessential “nerd” actor. Sometimes he plays a kind and loving nerd. Sometimes he plays a fed up, evil nerd and other times he plays a horny, lonely nerd. Whatever kind of nerd he is, he’s our favorite nerd of all time. This is because he strictly adheres to the rules of You Know, That Guy. Usually in small, under appreciated roles, Tobolowsky makes the most of every scene he’s in, has been working in both TV and in films for decades and makes his living outside the spotlight glare of ritzy glitzy Hollywood fame. Dependable and full of endurance, he can convince his audience that he is a wide number of things from earnest and gentle to down right, back away slowly, creepy as hell.
Here’s a brief list of some of the movies Tobolowsky has appeared in throughout his career. You may not think you’ll remember him, but I guarantee at least one of these titles will yield an unstoppable “Oh yeah!!” to be uttered from you MRFHly lips.
Remember Spaceballs… think back now. Tobolowsky was “Captain of the Guards”. How about The Grifters? He had a small but memorably creepy role as a sweaty jeweler Annette Bening tangles with in that film. He’s also had scenes in Basic Instinct, Single White Female, Sneakers, Roadside Prophets (an under appreciated gem of a movie by the by) and Hero. And that’s just what he did in 1992! More recently he’s appeared in The Insider with Russell Crowe, Black Dog with Patrick Swayze and Freddie Got Fingered with Tom Green. In 1989 he even had the good sense to appear first in Checking Out followed by an appearance in Breaking In, two totally unrelated movies with oddly juxtaposed titles. Genius!
So let’s take a minute to thank Stephen Tobolowsky for sticking with us all these years, providing many films with the exact right amount of nerdy goodness and filling our lives with the comfort of knowing that all our dweeb needs will be met as long as he’s around.
If you want more of Stephen Tobolowsky rent:
- That 70’s Show
- The Practice