Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander
Full name
Judah Friedlander
Country
USA

Judah Friedlander (born March 16, 1969) is an American actor and comedian, best known for playing the role of writer Frank Rossitano on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock. Friedlander is also known for his role as Toby Radloff in the film American Splendor, a role garnered him favorable reviews and a nomination for best supporting actor at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards. Earlier in his career he was recognized as "the hug guy" from the music video for the 2001 Dave Matthews Band single "Everyday". Friedlander is known for his distinctive look, which includes oversized glasses, shaggy hair, a t-shirt and trucker hat — often emblazoned with bombastic slogans such as "World Champion" — and a generally unkempt appearance. It is a look he maintains as a stand-up comedian, during most of his public appearances, and which he has employed in some of his acting roles. Friedlander was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the son of Shirley and Art Friedlander. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother, a native of Pittsburgh, is Croatian American. As a child, Friedlander drew political cartoons and made animated films. He first tried stand-up comedy in 1989 at the age of 19 while attending New York University. Friedlander has performed stand-up comedy regularly throughout his entertainment career. He continued to perform stand-up several nights a week in New York City while working on the sitcom 30 Rock. Friedlander has stated that he is most relaxed when doing stand-up and that he considers stand-up to be his first true love, preferring it to acting. He stated in 2012 that stand-up comedy is "still the most important thing I do from an artistic standpoint." Friedlander has cited comedians Steven Wright, Sam Kinison and John Mulrooney as influences. He also says that Dave Attell is one of his favorite comics. Friedlander's comedic performances often feature him making outrageous and bombastic claims about himself with a deadpan delivery. Many of these claims are reflected in slogans displayed on the many trucker hats he wears — the most common being "World Champion", a slogan he has worn in various languages. One of his claims include being an expert in karate, having achieved an "extra-dark black belt" in the sport. In 2010, he authored the humor book How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion. Friedlander's claims provide comedic irony when contrasted against his nonchalant attitude and physical appearance. Friedlander wears large, thick-rimmed glasses, is often unshaven and is generally unkempt. His physique has also been described as "doughy". The look that Friedlander employs during his stand-up has also carried over into some of his television and film roles, including his 30 Rock role as TV writer Frank Rossitano. Frank is however much lazier than Friedlander's "World Champion" personae. In 2007, Heeb magazine included Friedlander in their list of "100 people you need to know about".