An actor, writer, director and impressionist with a strong social media presence and a taste for indie rock, Peter Serafinowicz is an alternative comic for the Internet generation, easily able to slip...
Liverpool, , GB
|NTSF:SD:SUV||2012 2010 - 2012||Actor||Sacan||20127|
|South Park||2015 1996 - 2015||Actor||Voice||20157|
|The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||2011 2009 - 2011||Actor||Tito the Cycling Lawyer||20117|
|Archer||2013 2008 - 2013||Voice||George Spelvin||20136|
|Black Books (UK)||2003 2000 - 2003||Actor||Howell Granger||20037|
|The Best and the Brightest||2011||Actor||Clark||20117|
|The IT Crowd||2009 2005 - 2009||Actor||Voice of Newsreader||20097|
|Sixty Six||2008||Actor||Uncle Jimmy/Mr. Rubens, Sr./World Cup Commentator||20087|
|Running Wilde||2010 2009 - 2010||Actor||Fa'ad Shaoulin||20107|
|Shaun of the Dead||2004||Actor||Pete||20047|
|Parks and Recreation||2013 2007 - 2013||Actor||Lord Edgar Covington||20137|
|American Dad||2014 2003 - 2014||Voice||n/a||20146|
|Spaced||2000 1998 - 2000||Actor||Duane Benzie||20007|
|Sleeping Murder||Actor||Walter Fane||7|
|Children's Hospital||2012 2009 - 2012||Actor||Michael Caine||20127|
|Run, Fat Boy, Run||2008||Actor||TV Commentator||20087|
|The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns||1999 1998 - 1999||Actor||George Fitzpatrick||19997|
|Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace||1999||Voice||of Darth Maul||19996|
|First co-starring role in American TV on "Running Wilde"|
|Voice role in "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace"|
|Co-created "Look Around You"|
|Created "The Peter Serafinowicz Show"|
|Co-starred in "Hardware"|
An actor, writer, director and impressionist with a strong social media presence and a taste for indie rock, Peter Serafinowicz is an alternative comic for the Internet generation, easily able to slip from supporting roles in mainstream comic fare to his own quirkier creations.
Peter Szymon Serafinowicz was born July 10, 1972 in Liverpool, and raised in a working-class council estate in the suburb of Belle Vale as the eldest of three children. His parents were a construction worker and a postal clerk, but a more sinister presence lurked slightly further back in his bloodline. Peter's paternal grandfather, Szymon Serafinowicz Sr., had been a local police chief in his hometown of Mir, Belarus when the Nazis invaded in the early days of World War II, and he was promoted to district commander under the occupying Nazi government. The elder Serafinowicz, who had been granted refugee status in Britain at the war's end, was arrested in 1995 under the War Crimes Act for allegedly personally executing three Jewish prisoners and being complicit in the murders of several thousand more. After several weeks of testimony from witnesses, Szymon Serafinowicz Sr. was adjudged incompetent to stand trial due to dementia; he died in 1997.
By the time Peter entered his teens, he had discovered his twin passions for indie pop music (thanks to seeing The Smiths on television when he was 11) and television comedy. Though he briefly tried his hand at the former as the lead singer of a short-lived teenage band called Hippy Trousers, it was his early fondness for TV variety comics such as Phil Cool and Rory Bremner that led the young Serafinowicz to start sculpting his own impersonations. Upon graduation, Serafinowicz started his professional career in radio. His first major voice role, in a 1993 BBC Radio 1 mockumentary called "The Knowledge," led to other voiceover work, first on a variety of comedy shows on BBC Radio 4 including "Harry Hill's Fruit Corner," a variety series starring the popular comedian that ran between 1993 and 1997. He made his television debut in another voice-only role, portraying then-president of France Jacques Chirac on two episodes of the satirical puppet show "Spitting Image" (ITV 1984-1996) during its final series.
Serafinowicz's distinctive look -- he stands nearly six and a half feet tall, with a trademark shock of thick black hair -- first appeared on Britain's TV screens on the short-lived sketch comedy series "Comedy Nation" (ITV 1998). This launching pad for a new generation of alternative comedians also featured early work by Sacha Baron Cohen, David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and Fiona Allen, but lasted for only 10 episodes. His next major TV role came in the critically acclaimed but little seen romantic comedy series "How Do You Want Me?" (BBC 1998-99), starring Dylan Moran and Charlotte Coleman as a newly married couple who move from London to the small rural village where her parents live; Serafinowicz played the wife's brother.
Serafinowicz first cemented his geek-world credibility around this time, when he provided the voice for Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace" (1999). This credit no doubt impressed science fiction obsessives Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, who cast Serafinowicz as Duane Benzie, the unsettling nemesis of Pegg's lead character Tim Bisley in the cult favorite sitcom "Spaced" (Channel 4 1999-2001). In fact, the trio bonded so well that for years, they played together as a team at a North London pub's weekly trivia night. Serafinowicz also memorably played slacker roommate Pete in Pegg and Wright's first feature film, "Shaun of the Dead" (2004).
In keeping with the brainy/geeky side of Serafinowicz's comic persona, he and creative partner Robert Popper created "Look Around You" (BBC 2002-05), a loving parody of vintage science programs. The first series consisted of 15-minute deadpan parodies of 1970s classroom films, all of them starring Serafinowicz as a silent scientist performing bizarre experiments and his younger brother James as a bored schoolboy. The second series revamped the concept into a clever parody of a general-interest science program from 1982, hosted by Serafinowicz and Popper with co-hosts Olivia Colman and Josie D'Arby. Guest stars on this series included Pegg, Wright, their comic partner Nick Frost, and the Serafinowicz boys' mother as a frustrated housewife. Serafinowicz's wife, comic actress Sarah Alexander, guested in one episode as a marathon runner. Between seasons of "Look Around You," Serafinowicz co-starred in two series of a far more conventional situation comedy, "Hardware" (ITV 2003-04). Alongside Martin Freeman and Ryan Cartwright, Serafinowicz played Kenny, a sardonic London hardware store employee spending his days mocking customers and his fellow employees.
Following the second and final series of "Look Around You," Serafinowicz and his brother accompanied Alexander to Los Angeles while she was working on an American sitcom called "Teachers" (NBC 2006). At loose ends in Hollywood at the height of Oscar season, the brothers decided on a whim to start filming a series of guerilla-style shorts mocking the fatuous celebrity reporting surrounding them. The resulting shorts, starring Serafinowicz as a smug TV presenter interviewing various famous actors (also portrayed by him, returning to his roots as a celebrity impersonator), were an early hit on the nascent YouTube, leading to a sketch comedy series called "The Peter Serafinowicz Show" (Channel 4 2007-08) that showcased his knack for deadly accurate yet often bizarrely surreal impersonations. The show was not a major ratings success, but Serafinowicz's increasing cult following (buoyed by his frequent social media updates) made it an online sensation.
His increasing international renown caused Serafinowicz to begin working in Hollywood in the late 2000s, following an abortive effort to land a role on Aaron Sorkin's backstage comedy-drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (NBC 2006-07). He played a small role in the Jason Bateman-starring romantic comedy "Couples Retreat" (2009), and then teamed up with Bateman's once and future co-star Will Arnett on the short-lived sitcom "Running Wilde" (Fox 2010-11), in which he played the over-the-top role of the improbably wealthy playboy Fa'ad Shaoulian. After an atypically serious recurring role as an investigator in the British police drama "Whitechapel" (BBC America 2009- ), Serafinowicz began working steadily in American cartoon shows, including recurring roles on the spy parody "Archer" (FX 2009- ) and the surreal "Axe Cop" (Fox 2013- ). He also began directing music videos, most notably an oddball set of promos for the British indie electronic band Hot Chip.
|Discovered his talent for impersonation while in school: "My grades went progressively downhill as I got older and I just started messing around in school, it was my big thing." -- Liverpool Echo, March 25, 2011|
|Wrote and performed all of the music for both series of "Look Around You."|
|Is the brother-in-law of writer/producer Graham Linehan, creator of "The IT Crowd" and "Black Books"|
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