Kevin Pollak started as stand-up comedian in San Francisco at age 20. A few years later he moved to Los Angeles with dreams of appearing on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and being in movies. Two hundred acting auditions later, his role in Ron Howard’s “Willow” was enough to bring him directly to the couch on Carson’s “Tonight Show.” That first appearance went so well that Kevin would return to chat with the king two or three times a year until Johnny’s retirement. Although he never did stand-up on the Tonight Show, years later, after a few stand-up comedy specials of his own, Pollak was named by Comedy Central as one of the Top 100 Comedians of all Time.
In 1992, Pollak’s role in Rob Reiner’s “A Few Good Men,” proved his ability to stand out on the big screen among cinematic icons. The unplanned transformation of Kevin becoming a dramatic actor was further established two years later, when he co-starred in “The Usual Suspects” and Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” in the same year. Kevin has now co-starred in over 90 films, with two booked for 2021.
New fortunes found Pollak on the small screen in 2017: after being offered the part of Moishe Maisel in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Kevin felt another historic adventure was beginning…. Amazon Prime Studios’ worldwide hit has enjoyed a meteoric rise, gathering 20 Emmy Awards in three seasons (including Best Comedy), three Golden Globes, five Critics Choice awards, and many more from the Directors Guild, Writers Guild, and Producers Guild. The entire cast has now been given Screen Actors Guild Awards two years in a row for Best Ensemble in a Comedy! Pollak insists, “Co-starring on this show, with these astonishing actors, and actual genius creator/writers/directors in Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, has been life-changing in the truest sense.” Season 3 dropped in December of 2019 and generated twice the viewers of the previous year. Season 4 is now in production and will be released this year.
Pollak’s first outing as a film director, the comedy documentary Misery Loves Comedy, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The film also shot to #1 on iTunes for documentaries in just two days. Kevin then directed the indie comedy, “The Late Bloomer,” starring J.K. Simmons, Jane Lynch, Maria Bello, Brittany Snow, Kumail Nanjiani and Beck Bennett.
Pollak was also a pioneer in the podcast world with his award-winning Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show. Episodes feature the longest on-camera chats creative icons like Tom Hanks, Larry David or Jordan Peele have given, and there are 400 interviews to choose from on YouTube. Kevin’s new all-improvised comedy podcast, “Alchemy This”, debuted in October of 2018.
As for his hobbies, Pollak’s notable deep run in the 2012 WSOP Main Event may have ended with Q’s vs Q’s, but finishing 134 out of 6750 players was certainly
one for the books. In the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl, when Vanessa Selbst bested her table of five pros, while Pollak bested his field of five actors, and the two then played heads up for a cool million dollars… Kevin cashed in again in the WSOP Main Event in 2019.