Glen Ellen actor Brian Posehn, 'Big Bang Theory' star, embraces his nerdiness in new memoir
Throughout much of his childhood Brian Posehn was unaware of his nerdiness. It was a state that came over him pre-puberty, by about age 10, when he had sprouted into what he characterizes as a “lethal combo of super tall and super skinny with dorky, black-framed glasses, pimples and braces,” not to mention the uncool clothes and bowl haircut.
Posehn was drawn to anything that defined 1970s nerdliness, from Dungeons and Dragons to comic book fanaticism to an obsession with Star Wars.
Who would predict that the gawky kid from Glen Ellen, who avoided loneliness while taking refuge in the library at Dunbar School — where he discovered KISS — would geek his way to fame and fortune, all without changing a thing?
His is not a Cinderella story. In a real life “Revenge of the Nerds,” the balding, bearded, and bespectacled Posehn — all 6-feet 6-1/2 inches of him — had the last laugh. He found a way of making a living off his not classically handsome looks, adolescent “fart and wiener jokes” and love for heavy metal and superheroes. It’s also worth noting he married the cute 5-foot-2 inch blonde cheerleader, who also happens to be a manager of comedians. So neener neener neener.
Posehn, a stand up-comic, writer and actor who has a recurring role as the geologist Bert Kibbler on “The Big Bang Theory” — a “Friends” for science geeks — recounts his awkward ascent in his memoir “Forever Nerdy: Living My Dorky Dreams and Staying Metal.”
The twisted coming of age story (Da Capo Press; $26) larded with cultural references to TV shows, toys and movies before the Internet era, will resonate with any kid who was ever picked on.
It’s also a period piece — a “Christmas Story” updated for the cringey 1970s. With references to Santa Rosa’s old Parkside Theater, Sonoma’s Sebastiani, Tower Records and other landmarks here and gone, it’s sure to stir nostalgia for anyone who was a kid in Sonoma County 40 years ago.
“Growing up there felt really lucky,” said Posehn by phone from his “nerd cave” at his home in Encino, where he lives with his wife Melanie Truhett and 9-year-old son. “It’s such a cool place and so beautiful. But when you’re a teenager it’s all about getting out of there and going to San Francisco and seeing bands. Now I wish I never left. My dream is to eventually own something and move back up there again.”
Posehn’s is one of those faces you can’t forget. If you don’t recognize his name, you know you’ve seen him somewhere on the screen.
Before “Big Bang” he was a regular on the “Sarah Silverman Program,” and has also appeared on leading sitcoms like “Seinfeld” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.” His film credits include “Devil’s Rejects,” “The Five Year Engagement” and the indie comedy “Uncle Nick,” in which he starred.
He still does a lot of stand-up comedy and will return to the Bay Area for a gig at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco March 21-23.
Posehn devotes much of his memoir, which includes a forward by his close buddy and fellow geek comic Patton Oswalt, to objects of his obsession, from the original “Star Wars” (ask about the prequel and expect a few expletives) to TV shows like “Starsky and Hutch” and movies perhaps only he remembers, like “Foul Play.” Favorite bands “Metalica,” “Rush” and “KISS” get their own chapters.