Who is Kevin Pollak?

Who is Kevin Pollak?

Popular American star Kevin Pollak is best known as an comic and actor – but did you know he is a star poker player too?

Ofg course Pollak is currently a regular member of the cast on the highly-rated Amazon Prime series ‘The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’ series. But read on to discover that there’s a lot more to this performer’s repertoire.

From directing his own horror series to playing Texas Holdem poker, Kevin Pollak has enjoyed a very successful and colourful career to date.

Kevin’s beginnings

It all started in California. He was born Kevin Elliot Pollak in San Francisco, on October 30, 1957 and he was raised in a progressive Jewish family.

Although wanting to be film actor from an early age, he first found fame performing stand-up comedy shows. But Kevin says he used to watch films as a boy – then really annoy his family by continually acting in one of the roles from the film for the next few days.

Kevin was also a gifted and quick-witted comedian. His major breakthrough came on the HBO special Stop with the Kicking in 1991. It was an hour-long stand-up show featuring Kevin’s routine in California, directed by another comedian David Steinberg and produced by comic Martin Olson.

Acting career

The comedy fame kick-started Kevin’s film career. He was soon being offered a wide range of movie roles.

Since then the Californian has been cast as the main supporting actor in many major films, including: Ricochet (1991), A Few Good Men (1992), End of Days (1999) and The Wedding Planner (2001).

Kevin’s other successful movie roles have included appearances in Willow (1988), The Usual Suspects (1995) and Miami Rhapsody (1995). One of his most prominent performances came as the US President in the blockbuster Deterrence (1999).

And his other film credits include big box office titles like Wayne’s World 2, A Few Good Men, The Right Stuff, Casino, The Whole Nine Yards, Shark Tale and The Front Runner.


From The Simpsons to NCIS, Kevin has appeared in a wide list of TV shows. AT present he is perhaps best known as Moishe Maisel in Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.


Other TV work has included Coming of Age, Morton & Hayes, The Drew Carey Show, Work with Me, The Lost Room, Shark, Easy to Assemble, Mom, Angel from Hell and Billions.

Other screen work

His natural charisma in front of the cameras has made Kevin a sought-after presenter and hosting entertainment productions. One of his most prominent hosting jobs was presenting the series Million Dollar Money Drop.

He has also shown his versatility by working as a director, including on a TV horror series, comedy film and documentary movie. Kevin’s own feature film Misery Loves Comedy (2015) was nominated for an award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

All-round media

Kevin has a big following on Twitter where he makes humorous comments of entertainment and celebrity news and gossip. He has his own online chat show and produces You Tube videos.

He is still often considered purely as a comedian by some audiences. In fact he was once chosen by cable channel Comedy Central as one of the top 100 comedians of all time.


But Kevin is also renowned for a variety of different performing impressionist skills with a wide range of ‘targets’. His most popular impressions have included big names like Woody Allen, Robert de Niro, Eddie Murphy, Liam Neeson, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stalone and Christopher Walken.

He is also the subject of a successful autobiography book co-written with Chicago author Alan Goldsher. It was called How I Slept My Way To The Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen and Interwebs.

Kevin has also taken to the growing world of podcasting with great success, combining chat, comedy and impressions to great popular acclaim. The Apple platform iTunes rates one of Kevin’s series, Talkin Walkin, as in its Top Five Comedy Podcasts.

His podcast talk shows have hosted many big name guests since 2009. Some of the guests presenting themselves for the long interviews have included Bryan Cranston, Matthew Perry, Tom Hanks and Larry David.

The show includes regular slots where guests must do an impression of Larry King or have to guess the name of celebrities from hearing their tweets read out.

Poker star

Kevin was the host of celebrity Poker Showdown on the Bravo channel. It was a good choice, because he is also privately very keen on playing high stakes poker when away from the screen.


The Californian is a very enthusiastic player and surprisingly experienced at this very high level of poker. Kevin is known for hosting regular poker parties where he lives in Los Angeles with local Hollywood celebrities.

In the 2012 World Series of Poker he finished a creditable 134th out of almost 7,000 entrants. This result meant that the actor took home winnings of more than $50,000.

So the lesson of all this is: never write-off Kevin Pollak as simply a funny guy on TV. He has enjoyed several very successful strands to a wide-ranging career to date – and won big roles, a huge following and several showbiz awards along the way.

With his enthusiasm for new platforms, he certainly looks set to continue to keep entertaining audiences and winning new fans in everything he does. And he sounds like a really hot poker player too…