Everyone’s favorite “that guy” actor Adam Goldberg guest stars on tonight’s Maron, and it gave us a chance to dive into the very diverse filmography of this hard-to-pigeonhole actor.
His breakthrough came in Saving Private Ryan and he’s done plenty of drama and even horror, but he also has a powerful knack for the comedic. Here are our picks for the funniest parts Adam Goldberg has played during his diverse career.
1. Dazed and Confused
It’s tough to stand out in an ensemble cast as great as the one Richard Linklater assembled for Dazed and Confused, but as nebbishy geek Mike Newhouse Goldberg does a fantastic job. The character is defined by the moment at the kegger when he just can’t take the abuse of the jocks anymore and sucker-punches the odious Clint.
Goldberg’s appeared in more sitcoms than we can count, but his three episodes of Friends were classics. When Joey moves out on Chandler to get his own place, Goldberg’s Eddie Menuek moves in to fill the void. Menuek is a classic comedy lunatic who dries fruit for fun and loses his mind over a dead goldfish.
3. The Hebrew Hammer
Goldberg’s notorious for playing explicitly Jewish roles, and he turned that up to 11 with his starring role in this 2003 “Jewsploitation” flick. As the title character, detective Mordechai Jefferson Carver, Goldberg goes up against the evil son of Santa Claus in a battle to save Hannukah (and Kwanzaa while he’s at it).
4. Sunset Strip
This cult classic plunges viewers into a relentlessly sleazy take on 1970s Los Angeles, rife with drugs and venereal disease. Goldberg grew out his Jew-fro to play Marty Shapiro, a record producer with the gift of gab who is always on the hustle.
Goldberg’s Friends connection got him a semi-regular gig on the Joey spin-off as Jimmy Costa, the father of Joey’s nephew who comes back into his life to make a huge mess of things. This is a classic Adam Goldberg role, fusing high intelligence with a complete lack of any moral compass for big laughs. (Or as big as the laughs got during Joey‘s brief run.)
6. The Trivial Pursuits Of Arthur Banks
This oddball comedy made for AMC was a black & white satire on the literary world starring Goldberg as the titular playwright and the great Jeffrey Tambor as his therapist. Goldberg’s great at playing characters high on their own supply, and we wish there were more than three episodes of this.
7. The Unusuals
As is often the case, Adam Goldberg is the best part of many of the short-lived TV shows he’s been involved in. One show that didn’t get a fair shake was ABC’s The Unusuals, a quirky cop drama where he played a detective with brain cancer that he refuses to treat because he hates doctors.
As Nick Rubenstein, the moneyman behind Medellin on HBO’s Entourage, Adam Goldberg wallowed in Hollywood depravity. Spoiled son of a multimillionare Hollywood producer, Nick blew the GDP of a small country up his nose in cocaine every episode and eventually got paid $1 for his involvement in the film.
9. A Monster In Paris
Goldberg has done a bunch of voice acting over his career, but easily the high point is as the character Raoul in this lovely French film loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. Goldberg has a lot of fun playing a manic inventor with tons of goofy ideas.