So that's who that guy is - sudden recognition of actors.

I was just watching Harold and Kumar go to White Castle on TV and realized that Freakshow is played by Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler from Law & Order: SVU).

And as a bonus Goldstein is played by David Krumholtz a year before he became Charlie Eppes in Numb3rs.

This happens all the time but what are some of your favorite “discoveries”.

My sister recently talked me into watching an ep or Criminal Minds. About halfway through, I asked her about the actor playing Gideon, because something surely seemed familiar about him. . .
“I dunno”, she said “I think when he was young he was on some soap and considered really hot. . .”

It wasn’t until later in the episode when he cracked a genuine smile that I realized I was watching Inigo Montoya! (Well, okay, not Inigo Montoya; but Mandy Patinkin).

When I saw Once, I loved it. It being about Irish musicians put me in the mood for other Irish musician movies and the only one I could think of was The Commitments (another kick-ass movie).

That’s when I discovered that it was Glen Hansard in both movies – Outspan in The Commitments and “the guy” in Once. Of course the movies were created 15 years apart, so it wasn’t that easy to peg him, but in Once, he just shines musically. His own songs, his own playing, his own voice, just fantastic music. In The Commitments, he was basically just an actor. Sure it was obvious that he was really a musician, but he certainly wasn’t spotlighted.

Once blew me away.

I’m still watching movies on TV and Gone in Sixty Seconds is on. Delroy Lindo’s sidekick is pre The Girl Next Door and Live Free or Die Hard Timothy Olyphant. I knew that I had seen him before when I saw them.

It used to drive me crazy when I’d recognize an actor and try to think of where else I’d seen him. Trying to get a name from the credits was iffy, at best; either you wouldn’t know the character’s name, or the credits didn’t have it, or they were at the beginning and it was already too late.

And then came the Internet Movie Database. And it was good.

So I don’t really have the need to exercise those particular mental muscles anymore. But there was one a while ago that I figured out from memory. I was disgustingly pleased with myself, and would have bragged if there had been anyone else around. I was watching Breaking Away. Remember the jerks from the college, and one of them is kinda in charge? He has a swimming race with Dennis Quaid in the quarry. I knew I’d seen him somewhere before. Then it came to me; he was the jerk in Die Hard who tried to sweet talk Hans and got his head blown off. His name is Hart Bochner.

(Die Hard was quite the asshole convention, by the way. The asshole reporter was also the asshole EPA guy in Ghostbusters (William Atherton), the asshole deputy chief of police was also the asshole principal in The Breakfast Club (Paul Gleason), and the asshole FBI agent was also the asshole drug dealer in Licence to Kill (Robert Davi).)

He was the drug dealer in Go the year before that. Of course his best role was in Deadwood as Sheriff Seth Bullock.

Or from A Perfect Getaway…where he is…awesome!

As it happens I was watching a rerun of Oz a couple of weeks back. Three Aryan Order cons were watching TV and one started talking about Tinky-Winky being gay. The con was Christopher Meloni.

Rewatching Full Metal Jacket, I suddenly realized that Pyle was none other than Vincent D’Onofrio carrying about 30 extra pounds.

Mine was voice recognition on two different kid’s shows on Nick. (I have a nine year old.)

There was something familiar about the voice of Gordy the school janitor on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, but for the longest time, I just couldn’t place it. Then suddenly I had an Aha! moment and a quick trip to imdb confirmed that Gordy (Daran Norris) was also the voice of Cosmo on The Fairly Odd Parents.

Turns out he’s the voice of many, many animated characters.

Thirty years ago, probably, I was watching TV and this television came on for something (maybe an insurance company). Anyway, this very handsome actor with a deep voice is talking about the company, and as he’s talking, I say to myself, “Wow, he sounds just like Race Bannon.” I tried to make a good mental image of the man next time I saw the commercial.

Then, several months later, while watching a “Wild, Wild, West” rerun, one of the voice’s hit me, “Wow, he sounds just like Race Bannon.” Once I was able to see his face, I did indeed id him as the same actor from the commercial (although about 15 years younger). So, I watched the ending credits to look for his name (I already knew the voice behind Race Bannon). Sure enough, it was Mike Road. In this link, he’s the guy on the right. He’s 92 this year!.

Another one that is as timely as the current calendar: When I was watching “2010” when it first came out, in the scene where the NASA administrator is talking to Dr. Floyd. I said to myself, "That sounds just like the guy that told Archie Bunker he “didn’t like water melon, but if it’s any consolation, I looooove fried chicken.” Sure enough, James McEachin.

And then we got an iTouch so we can look up actors as we’re watching them on a movie or tv - and it was better!

Jim and I have sort of a running competition to see who can ID the actors/voices first. I think he’s up a couple on me (I’m good at faces but not names - “Hey, it’s that girl from that show!”), but I’ve pulled some obscure ones out of the hat.

Or 30 pounds fewer, depending on which season of CI you happen to be watching.
I had one of these moments today. My kids wanted to see The Spy Next Door so thats how I spent my afternoon. It took me a minute but I realized the bad guy was being played by Magnus Scheving. Those with kids would recognize him as Sporticus in the show Lazytown.

My favorite was recognizing Carl Switzer (Alfalfa in Spanky and Our Gang) in It’s a Wonderful Life. He’s the young man who opens the pool for everyone to jump into.

Since both Oz and the Law and Order franchises filmed in the New York area there was a lot of cast crossover. Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, B.D. Wong and Kathryn Erbe were all regulars on Oz and also one of the L&Os. I’m sure I’m missing someone.

Race Bannon is 92?

Yar, that happens to me all the time, as the boys will be watching Nick all day and I’ll look, expecting to see one show, only to see it’s another show but the same voice actor. >.<

D’Onofrio is awesome when it comes to roles that require him to lose or gain weight. He looked fat and slovenly in *Full Metal Jacket *but was totally ripped and toned in *Adventures in Babysitting *(I couldn’t believe it was him!) and looked great again as Orson Welles in Ed Wood.

What was that movie where young Matt Damon sang a rock song that went something like “Johnny doesn’t know”? The song was about how he was screwing Johny’s girlfriend. I didn’t know that was Matt Damon until I happened to run across the film while flipping channels.