Recently, I have been starting to get back into podcasts. In my drivings to and from work everyday, it seemed “more educational” in my mind than listening to the current pop music on the radio or something along those lines. So I researched what some considered to be the best podcasts, and The Tobolowsky Files appeared on every list I came across.
Stephen Tobolowsky has built a career from appearing as “that guy” when you go to the movies. More often than not he plays a side character that has a lasting impact on an audience’s memory of a film. His more memorable roles include the parts of Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day and Sammy Jankis in Memento as well as appearing on the television shows Heroes, Deadwood, Entourage, Glee, and CSI: Miami. He has amassed over 200 individual acting credits in a career that spans 36 years. Impressive to say the least. However, there is one thing that you can’t tell about him by looking at his extensive filmography. Stephen Tobolowsky is a brilliant storyteller.
That’s the entire premise of The Tobolowsky Files. The podcast’s tag line sums it up perfectly.
“A series of stories about life, love, and the entertainment industry, as told by legendary character actor, Stephen Tobolowsky.”
Each episode, co-hosted by /Film editor David Chen, consists of vignettes from Tobolowsky’s extensive library of true life stories and experiences as told by the man himself. After hearing the opening few minutes of the first episode, I knew I was hooked.
The extensive word pictures he paints as he tells each story are captivating. Each story is unique and purposeful and told with such attention to the small details that you can’t help but get caught up in the described events. In one 40 minute episode, I went through an entire range of emotions, laughing out loud one minute and feeling thoughtful and sad the next. I found myself sitting in my car after work many nights, not wanting to exit until I heard the outcome of a particular story. Back in September, I posted a brief, 5 minute video of him sharing one such story about his grandfather’s watch.
The Tobolowsky Files has become my go-to listening and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
RATING: 10 out of 10
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