March 30, 2010

Plugged!: The Tobolowsky Files

Stephen Tobolowsky. You may have seen him, but you probably haven't heard of him, and how can I blame you? He's usually playing some role that only serves as background, or maybe he's just one of the supporting characters. Prominently though, he's one of those teachers in Glee, and found much fame in Groundhog Day and Memento. You could say he's a bit of a high-profile star, but I rarely hear anyone say, "Oh, actor X should be like Stephen Tobolowsky!" or "The prowess of Stephen Tobolowsky must be put into action!". So no, I guess you can't say he's that high-profile, but at least you could say he's ubiquitous. Look around, he's everywhere!

Held with respect by his peers nonetheless, Stephen Tobolowsky is still a figure with a surprisingly colorful life, and using a smartly crafted arching topic, he talks about his experiences in life; with love, heartbreak, the entertainment industry, and almost everything under the sun in this podcast: The Tobolowsky Files.

Now, I'm not one to usually diverge from my usual style of picking podcasts for this feature- I usually put 2-3 months of listening time to a podcast before I find it fit for judgment- but this podcast was just such a good listen for the 5-6 episodes I've had with it, that I couldn't hold the recommendation off.

Every story he tells is supported by a theme, and each story is usually associated with his own life. While it could seem narcissistic and biased to only his own perspective, he just crafts his stories in such a way that you just keep yourself glued to his every word. He's a sublime storyteller, and he handles a lot of the topics he deals with very well.

It could be about his fear of dying from altitude sickness during the shooting of Wild Hogs, or it could be about his broken heart after a messy divorce with a girl called Beth. Whatever story he tells, it's hard not to just shake the man off and turn a deaf ear as some of the episodes actually become rather profound and thought-provoking.

From time to time though, /Film's David Chen interrupts the story and does a bit of banter with the actor. True, Tobolowsky is the star of the show, but Chen is actually the moderator of the podcast (not to mention the editor). It's not that he breaks the podcast, but Tobolowsky tends to be a bit hypnotizing so... it's kind of weird to hear another voice, to be frank.

Whatever the case, you must download this podcast and start from episode 1. Now.

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