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LOL Search Term: ‘stephen tobolowsky why does he have 3 similar last names in his roles?’

January 31, 2011

Barry Glibb alerted me to this rather amusing Stephen Tobolowsky related search term. Being the prolific character actor Mr. Tobolowsky is, there’s bound to be some overlap in his character’s last names, right? Turns out not really. When Tobolowsky’s characters are even given last names, rarely do they overlap. What overlaps is the sheer volume of lawyers, doctors and hapless authority figures he is often asked to play. Since his career began in 1976 Tobolowsky has played, based on the name of the characters alone:

28 Doctors
9 Judges/DAs/Lawyers
11 Members of Clergy/Corrupt Politicians/Educators/Principals
2 Members of Law Enforcement

This does not include – how could it when he has 203 titles to his credit – instances where his character was not identified by profession in the credits. Wally, Ned, Bob, Bill and George seem to be the most popular names of his characters. Though I assume anytime his credit listing him as “Ned” occurs after Groundhog’s Day – like in the case of Will & Grace – it is merely a homage!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2011 6:36 pm

    I see you, Werner Brandes.

  2. February 1, 2011 5:38 am

    I can’t believe they don’t just call him Wally all the time. He has the face of a TV and bit part Wally.

  3. February 1, 2011 11:39 am

    I vote for “Bob” but then again I was a bit of a Heroes fanboy. I think “Bob” plays to his ordinariness and “Wally” to his slightly goofy quality.

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