Mitch Hurwitz is known for being one of the smartest, most innovative comedy writers on television. By creating Arrested Development, he cemented his place on the Mount Rushmore of sitcom gurus. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, Hurwitz doesn’t need a pen and paper (or a MacBook Pro) to make the funny. Lately he’s carved out a second career as the guy behind all your favorite comedy cameos. To crib from Michael Bluth, you may ask yourself…him? To prove it, here are his five best roles, including a guest spot on this week’s episode of Portlandia premiering Thursday night at 10P. (Click here to find IFC on your TV in your area.) And trust us, we haven’t made a huge mistake.
5. Kroll Show, Jason Richards
Hurwitz popped up on Nick Kroll’s sketch series as a man just trying to get the word out about canine cancer. One of his more understated turns, his dry delivery allows self involved Liz and Liz to dig their own graves.
4. Clark and Michael, Ramsay
Back in 2007, Michael Cera was coming off of Arrested Development when he put together this weird thing called a “web series” with his friend Clark Duke. One of the first to really break through, Clark and Michael told the story of two morons trying to sell a TV show. Hurwitz showed up as a know nothing agent trying to blow them off, which they refused to let happen.
3. Workaholics, Cool Eric
Hurwitz excels at playing square guys trying to act cool. Almost every character he plays has shadings of this dynamic, none more so than “Cool Eric,” the HR guy on Workaholics who abandons any pretense of professionalism at the slightest hint that the guys don’t think he’s chill.
2. Portlandia, Carrie’s OB/GYN
Hurwitz, in a brilliant turn, shows up on this week’s Portlandia as a gynecologist more interested in cracking jokes than cracking open women’s legs. He warns Carrie she’s “a couple of years away from being an old spinster…. These are the terms people use, I don’t make them up.”
1. Community, Koogler
The defining character (so far) of Hurwitz’s recent spate of cameos, the party obsessed, slacker college student Koogler became a highlight of Community‘s later years. With a career plan of getting laid, Koogler was the pitch perfect vessel to spoof a certain type of college movie, which all seemed to be taking place just off screen. Gentlemen, assume the party!