Thursday, May 8, 2008
Peter Scolari Syndrome
What, you might ask, is Peter Scolari Syndrome (PSS)? Good question. You might recognize the name, particularly if you're a fan of Bob Newhart. But maybe not, not in the way you recognize, say, Tom Hanks, who is a cultural icon on par with Jimmy Stewart. And that's where PSS comes in, since once upon a time in the early '80s, these two young actors starred in a sitcom together. Neither of them had much success before the show, and both of them have had acting careers. It's just that in 1993, Tom Hanks had his Oscar-winning role in Philadelphia, while Peter Scolari starred in Infected (also titled Ticks, a horror movie about, you guessed it, mutant ticks). I'm not dissing Peter, he's spent his adult life acting, which in itself is an amazing achievement, but you gotta wonder how he feels about Tom. Is he resentful, envious, a tad bitter, or is he just grateful that he's been able to spend his time doing what he loves? He appeared in That Thing You Do!, which was written and directed by Tom, so his resentment (if there is any) doesn't likely run too deep, but I think it must rankle him at least a little, to look back and think, Why him? Is he that much better than me? And I wonder if he blames his height, his mother, his first acting coach, or maybe just dumb luck.