For the past dozen years or so, Kevin Pollak has been one of the busiest and most versatile character actors in Hollywood, but he's never abandoned his comedic roots, and it's comedy that's bringing him to Toledo this weekend for appearances tonight and tomorrow night at Connxtions Comedy Club.
The 46-year-old San Francisco native began doing stand-up comedy at the age of 10 by lip-synching Bill Cosby routines, and at his bar mitzvah speech when he was 13, he started out with the line: "A funny thing happened on the way to temple …"
By the age of 20, Pollak was appearing in clubs in the Bay Area, mixing impressions of Peter Falk, William Shatner, and others with sardonic comments on everyday life. For a time he teamed up with comic Dana Carvey, until the two of them auditioned for Saturday Night Live. Carvey made the cut, and Pollak didn't.
After winning second-place in a comedy competition in 1982, Pollak moved to Los Angeles, where in addition to his stand-up work, he began appearing on television shows and feature films. His first movie, 1987's Million Dollar Mystery, was a flop, and the next year he played a 3-inch-tall Brownie in Willow.
His acting break came in 1990, when he appeared with Aidan Quinn in Avalon. After that came character roles in dozens of other films, including L.A. Story, A Few Good Men, Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men, The Usual Suspects, The Wedding Planner, Casino, End of Days, and The Whole Nine Yards.
He also appeared in last month's sequel, The Whole Ten Yards, and though the movie bombed both critically and at the box office, Pollak got generally good reviews.
Pollak continued to do stand-up on occasion, but at one point he stopped touring for nearly a decade. These days he is back on the road for 15 to 20 weekends a year, between his other projects.
Those include another film with Bruce Willis called Hostage, which recently wrapped up and is scheduled for release this fall.
Comedian Kevin Pollak will appear at 8 and 10:30 tonight and tomorrow night at Connxtions Comedy Club, 5319 Heatherdowns Blvd. Reserved-seat tickets are $17.50 for tonight and $19.50 tomorrow night. For tickets, call 419-867-9041.