Kevin Corrigan is the ultimate “Hey, that guy!” character actor. Instantly recognizable and celebrated just as quickly, Corrigan is best known for playing scruffy underdogs or skeevy schemers who usually have somethin’ goin’ on the side. And by owning those roles, the Bronx actor quickly found steady work in both indie circles and big-budget comedies. Adding another feather to his supporting role cap, he’ll appear in this week’s Portlandia as a purveyor of dubious feminine products.
For more on the always-great Kevin Corrigan, here are his five funniest roles from film and TV.
1. Eddie Finnerty, Grounded for Life
Flying under the radar from 2001 to 2005 on two different networks, Grounded for Life was a family sitcom with a heaping dose of dark humor, much in the vein of Malcolm in the Middle or The Middle. And largely responsible for that bleak undertone was Corrigan as Uncle Eddie, a wheeler-dealer with a perpetual string of bad luck, crippling debt, and absurdly bad advice. Needless to say, he stole every scene he was in.
2. Professor Sean Garrity, Community
As one of Community’s more subdued early episodes, “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” showcased Corrigan as the grandiose, moral-toting Professor Sean Garrity (aka Professor Professorson) who, with the Dean’s help, teaches Jeff a valuable lesson in the bloodiest way possible. Corrigan’s Garrity proved to be a fan favorite and returned for two more episodes.
3. Toby, Freaks and Geeks
Kevin Corrigan is habitually cast as a criminal lowlife dirtbag for good reason: He’s damn good at playing one. Case in point: In 2000, he appeared in Judd Apatow and Paul Feig’s critically lauded Freaks and Geeks as small-time thief and forger Toby, who supplies the freaks with fake IDs. As always, Corrigan nails the underachieving criminal entrepreneur who takes pride in his work and would clean up his act as soon as his big break comes in.
4. Eliot Arenson, Slums of Beverly Hills
Indie cult classic Slums of Beverly Hills follows ’70s teenager Vivian (played beautifully by Natasha Lyonne) who moves to the cheaper outskirts of Beverly Hills and falls for the charm of the rough-around-the-edges neighborhood dealer Eliot. With a penchant for Charles Manson and Vivian’s chest, Corrigan provides some of the movie’s biggest laughs.
5. Sal, Big Fan
Comedian Patton Oswalt earned accolades for his role as sadsack superfan Paul Aufiero who, along with sidekick Sal, regularly attend Giants home games out in the parking lot with a small TV on the trunk of their car. And although he drives the movie as an unlucky arrested adolescent, nobody can match Oswalt’s schlubby moroseness sigh-for-sigh quite like Corrigan.