Pop My Culture



Stephen Tobolowsky guest on Pop My Culture Podcast

Stephen Tobolowsky (“Groundhog Day,” “Sneakers,” “Memento” and a billion other things) joins Cole and Vanessa to spin yarns about home invasion urban myths, Bionic Dog movies, Margo Martindale, The Universal Studios tour, Phil Alden Robinson, The Terminator Principal, Island Hunters, “bullshit” on Deadwood, The Country Bears, Frank Langella’s denial of Spaceballs, Around the Fire, Glee, power outages in San Francisco, body switching movies, Judge Judy and Stephen’s hilarious encounter with Steven Seagal on The Glimmer Man.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (The first surprise party that was ever thrown for you or you threw for someone else) on our website for a chance to win a Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party DVD or Groundhog Day Blu-Ray signed by Stephen!

Freshly Popped


Stephen Tobolowsky interviewed by hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Groundhog Day and Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party signed DVDs


  • Comment by Steve — January 22, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    Went to High School with Stephen. He was funny then, and still is. Great actor, great humorist.

  • Comment by Todd Mason — January 22, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    First surprise party I threw was for my womanfriend’s birthday in 1989. I was able to lull her sufficiently into a sense that there wouldn’t be a surprise b-day party several other times during our just under a decade together.

  • Comment by Brian Johnson — January 22, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

    For my 13th birthday my parents threw a surprise party… or at least they thought they did. On the day of the event my father said he was going to take me to play video games at whatever arcade I wanted.

    Suspicion rising.

    We went to the local “Showbiz Pizza Time Theater”. They had the best selection of games. When we arrived, my father game me $5 and said to go play as long as I wanted.

    Who is this man?

    Once I had depleted the $5 I returned to my father and said I was done. He checked his watch and asked if there was another place I wanted to go. “Uh… Hoagey’s Corner has some good games.” I replied.

    We went to Hoagey’s Corner. I was given another $5.

    I played about $2 worth of Xevious before I couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m not sure I want to play anymore. Can we go?” Dad checked his watch and we left for home.
    My parents’ poorly disguised ruse had prepared me for a surprise, but not the one I had expected.
    Upon entering the house we walked into the dining room. Seated at the table were my grandparents and great aunt and uncle dressed as “teenagers”. Grandma looked like an ancient flapper. Papa was wearing his “Banana Shirt”, the one he only ever wore when he was trying his best to embarrass the family. Uncle Olle wore the worst wig I had ever seen.
    I almost wet my pants laughing, but teenagers don’t do that. Best birthday surprise ever.

  • Comment by corinne — January 23, 2013 @ 5:33 am

    When I was maybe 7ish someone told me about a surprise party “next Saturday,” which I interpreted as ‘the Saturday this coming weekend.’ I interpreted wrong, showed up a week early with a sleeping bag n everything, but the girl’s mom somehow stuffed me back out the door without the girl catching on.

    For YEARS after I could think about that whenever I wanted to have an hour or so of horrible crushing guilt, even though it worked out fine and she really was surprised the next week.

  • Comment by Jen Braun — January 23, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    In second grade, I knew this girl who was a gossip and generally mean to most people except her clique. She said to me one day in May, “Tell your mom I can’t come to your surprise party….oops!” Such a witch!! My mom never tried that again, but I still like that she tried to help.

  • Comment by brad — January 23, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    My wife just threw me my first ever surprise party. I was turning 30 in a few weeks and we were having a game night. I was asked to go and get the buffalo wings from our favorite place and when i got home all my friends were in the living room. Mind you it was only 4 people, but I was surprised

  • Comment by James — January 25, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    I feel like I’ve never been a part of a successful surprise party. I’ve been to a few events that were (maybe?) supposed to be surprise parties, but they always end up going like “Surprise! We’re all at the bar that we always go to but now we’re pretending we have an excuse to be here!”

  • Comment by Terry T — July 2, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    Excellent podcast. Tobolowski is indeed a wonderful story teller and gifted performer. His approach to his writing and acting show real concern to get it right and make it count.

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