Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser is one of Hollywood’s most prolific creatives—and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Reiser is starring in two hit shows for Netflix: Stranger Things as Dr. Sam Owens, in a role created by the Duffer Brothers specifically for Reiser, and Chuck Lorre’s The Kominsky Method, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Reiser received rave reviews for the latter, where he delivered a moving soliloquy on life and loss in a scene that MediaPost says “will stand… as one of the finest moments seen anywhere on television.” Reiser returned for the third and final season of The Kominsky Method, streaming now on Netflix. The multi-faceted actor also revived one of his most iconic roles in the highly-anticipated return of Mad About You, the long-running hit 90s comedy Reiser co-created and starred in with Helen Hunt. The Emmy, Peabody and Golden Globe-winning comedy ended in May 1999 and premiered 20 years later as a limited series on Spectrum Originals. All seven seasons of the original Mad About You and the reboot are available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Reiser was also seen on Amazon’s Red Oaks for three seasons in a role singled out as “one of his absolute finest, not just of late, but of ever”—and in Mad Men creator Matt Weiner’s limited Amazon series The Romanoffs alongside Christina Hendricks and Isabelle Huppert. Additionally, Reiser joined Sam Rockwell, Michelle Williams and producers Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kale in FX’s Emmy-nominated Fosse/Verdon.
Throughout his prolific career, Reiser has worked with both independent and mainstream filmmakers. Reiser earned acclaim for his supporting roles in the Academy Award-winning film Whiplash, John McDonagh’s War on Everyone and frequent collaborator Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours and Horse Girl, which premiered at Sundance 2020 and is the fourth film the pair has worked on together. The veteran actor has garnered praise for notable performances in films such as Diner, Bye Bye Love, Aliens, One Night At McCool’s, Beverly Hills Cop I/II and The Thing About My Folks, which Reiser wrote for his co-star Peter Falk. Recently, Reiser starred alongside Kevin Hart in the touching comedy Fatherhood, out now on Netflix.
Reiser is a fixture behind the camera as well. He co-created and co-produced There’s Johnny!, a seven-episode series which originally streamed on Hulu and now streams on Peacock. The show, co-created with filmmaker David Steven Simon and co-produced with David Gordon Green in conjunction with The Carson Company, premiered to critical praise, with Decider saying There’s Johnny! is “a television experience unlike any I’ve seen on TV in recent years” and “unfolds like a dream, a memory fondly recalled.”
Reiser’s first book, Couplehood, sold over two million copies and reached the number one spot on The New York Times best sellers list. His subsequent books, Babyhood and Familyhood, were best sellers as well. Reiser regularly performs standup at sold-out venues nationwide and was voted one of the “Top 100 Comedians of All Time” by Comedy Central.
Reiser, a SUNY Binghamton graduate in the prestigious music program, co-wrote the theme song from Mad About You, “The Final Frontier,” with Grammy-winning producer Don Was. He released an album of original songs with British singer-songwriter Julia Fordham called Unusual Suspects. Over the course of his career, Reiser has received multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations.
Reiser and his family reside in Los Angeles.
Can something be wry, aching, hysterical, evocative, provocative, fun, beautifully sung, and consummately played all at once? That would be Vance Gilbert. With the generous assistance from a varied list of super-respected guests—including Celtic harpist/singer Aine Minogue, bluegrass boys Darol Anger and Joe Walsh Jr., jazz sax player Grace Kelly, country rock hero Roy Sludge, and guitar mainstay Kevin Barry—this talented man’s musical truth plays out shamelessly on BaD Dog Buffet.
Fully funded by his fans, the record has so far received raves reviews based solely on the material folks knew would be on it Those who know and love Vance have already enjoyed the life-loving capitulation of “God Bless Everyone,” the seething rocker “Nothing from You,” and the tonguein-cheek, happy break-up song, “Out the Way We Came In. “First Ring” is a Vance classic, a banjo love story rooted in folk whimsy, while “Kiss the Bad Boys” sounds like what would happen if Bootsy Collins and Bruce Springsteen were trapped in an elevator and ended up writing a song together. “Unfamiliar Moon,” which some may know as Vance’s signature song—a tune that landed him in the second round of auditions of TV’s “America’s Got Talent”—is revisited here in a pared down version with Anger on fiddle.
Like all great artists, Vance truly happens live. In fact he developed his reputation with his jawdropping, diverse, funny, devastating, and gorgeous live performances. Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, the late George Carlin have all requested Vance to be added to their bills.
Vance exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, with buzz spreading quickly. Who was this multicultural arts teacher knocking them dead at open mics? After opening Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City tour, he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from the Colvin tour.
Vance followed with three acclaimed albums for the Rounder/Philo label—Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity (1998). Then, Somerville Live (2000), was lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and New York’s Town and Village called One Thru Fourteen (2002), “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”
Gilbert then released a duo album with his friend Ellis Paul, entitled Side Of The Road (2003). The Boston Globe described it as “the songwriter’s most compelling work; literate, heartfelt, rippling…emotionally resonant.” The Globe placed the album on its Top 10 list that year.
Gilbert only continued on with three more albums, Angels, Castles, Covers (2006) displaying his vocal virtuosity, with sounds of Motown, the R&B of Al Green, and classic Joni Mitchell. Up On Rockfield (2008) just after a year and a half as support for George Carlin, and Old White Men.
Which brings us full circle to BaD Dog Buffet, the latest in a growing, glowing oeuvre and an evocative catalog created by a cornerstone acoustic artist.