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[In this new feature, we will periodically check in to see what is up with Topher Grace.]

Last week, I spent a few days in Los Angeles. Things are very different there than they are in New York. People wear a lot more hats for one thing. There’s a very active and vibrant hat culture in Los Angeles that you don’t see as much here. In addition to so many hats, I saw two celebrities while I was there. I’m not sure if that is a good ratio or not for the amount of time spent in town. Let’s say it is average. On Sunday, I saw Michael Cera walking around Silverlake. He might have been walking with Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza, which would bring my celebrity sightings to three, but I did not look closely enough, because to look too closely is to not be very cool, and I am always so cool. And then, on Tuesday evening, I saw Ron Perlman at a sushi restaurant. That’s right, Ron Perlman. Hellboy! Eatin’ sushi! Makin’ copies! We’re basically friends now, joined in a sacred bond over our love of red snapper sashimi. I mean, we’re not friends at all. But you know what I mean.

Guess who I did not see while I was in Los Angeles? That’s right, Topher Grace. Which begs the question:

What’s up with him?

For one thing, he is going to be in a movie! Probably! Robert Rodriguez is looking to reboot the Predator franchise, and he just might give a role to our pal, Topher Grace! From Reuters:

Adrien Brody will star in “Robert Rodriguez’s Predators,” a reboot of the sci-fi franchise.

Topher Grace is in negotiations to join the action-adventure movie, to which Alice Braga (“I Am Legend”), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (“The 4400″), Walt Goggins (“The Shield”), Rodriguez mainstay Danny Trejo and UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov have also been cast.

Negotiations! Not bad, Topher Grace! Fingers crossed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Predator franchise, here is a Predator in his natural habitat:

But they say that when God opens a window he closes a door. So we also have some sad (very very sad) Topher News today. From Variety:

The relationship between Columbia Pictures and Gary Ross that began with his rewrite on “Spider-Man 4″ is taking a “Venom”-ous turn.

I am hearing that the studio is in talks with Ross to helm the Spidey-spinoff “Venom,” and rewrite the script.

Ross will begin writing the script as soon as he completes the “Spider-Man” film. While Venom showed up in the last Spidey installment, the intention is to start from scratch. Topher Grace played him in the last picture but the role will likely be recast.

What?! Who else could play a mostly-CGI’ed superhero villain besides every working actor in the world? Well, that is life! We can’t have it all, not even Topher Grace can!

Jeez. Well, in TN (Topher Newz), check out this fun (very very fun) little tidbit from People:

Nicky Hilton hung out with four girlfriends at Tea Room, a lounge inside h.wood in L.A. The heiress was super casual, wearing her hair pulled back and a leather jacket. Also flying under the radar: Topher Grace, who spent a good amount of time at the bar playing air guitar to a soundtrack of Guns ‘N Roses tunes.

I don’t know who Nicky Hilton is, but I am glad to see that Topher Grace still knows how to have a good time. “Guns N’ Roses is an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985.” (Via Wikipedia.) Obviously, if we had footage from that night we would post it. Unfortunately, we will all have to use our imaginations (yuck). Although it probably looked a little something like this:

But at a bar.

And, of course, That ’70s Show remains popular in syndication

And there you go. That is what is up with Topher Grace. See you next time!

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Comments (52)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Is this the greatest recurring feature?

    Kurtwood Smith says, “Bitches leave!”

  3. Gabe, I know you were probably too starstruck to have your bearings and priorities straight, but I am very disappointed that you missed a perfectly good opportunity for another classic Cera photobomb.

    Also, no Topher Grace in the Venom movie? How can movie executives expect me to pay to see a Venom movie with no Topher Grace, especially when I wasn’t planning on paying to see a Venom movie WITH Topher Grace?

    • If Gabe had come back with a picture of the real, non-photoshopped Michael Cera ruining his photo, it would have been the culmination of our civilization’s accomplishments. But, alas, the rapture will have to be pushed back, yet again.

  4. I actually saw a bit of Spiderman 3 the other day, and the blond hair was a big mistake on Tophers side…

  5. I want Ken Burns to make a SkoalRebel miniseries staring Topher.
    Gabe, can you and your new best (hollywood) friend Ron Perlman make my dream a reality?

  6. I was wary of a Predator reboot but, if Topher’s on board I’m on board!

  7. side note: the fact the you were walking around Silverlake just furthers my suspicions that you were in LA working on the Ellen Page comedy.

  8. frostfromfire  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2009 +7

    i see what you’re doing here… do you think topher grace will ever be able to replace paul rudd?

    i don’t think so…

    his name is paul rudd!
    his name is paul rudd!
    his name is paul rudd!
    his name is paul rudd!

    semper fi, biotches!

  9. I’m surprised they’re calling it “Predators.” I would have thought they’d go with “The Predator.”

  10. Behind that mask, the Predator was weeping as he touched his stuffed and mounted friend for the last time.

  11. Stuff 'n Things  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2009 +18

    The day Topher Grace weighs in on the Roman Polanski situation will be the highest point in my life.

  12. I’m expecting downvotes on this but the Topher Grace feature confuses me. Do we not like him? And therefore, this is for irony? I like him ok I guess. I don’t dislike him. I don’t find him to be obviously dislikable. Do we like him a lot? As I stated previously, I like him just ok. He’s not someone us monsters would obviously like, such as Louis CK. So maybe the joke is that he is in the middle?

  13. Is it just me, or is there a surprising increase in press releases about Topher Grace since this segment started?

  14. As super awesome amazing as the name Topher Grace is (like Christopher, but instead of the traditional first five letters as a nickname, it’s the last six! So fun!), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali has him beat pretty good. I’m glad Mahershalalhashbaz didn’t take a note from Toph (even shorter than Topher! But only I can call him this, so don’t try) and try and go as Lalhash or Hershala.

    But Mahershalalhashbaz does make for the worst round of the name game ever, so maybe s/he doesn’t have Topher beat. Topher Topher Mo Mopher Banana-nana Fo Fopher! Whee! This feature is the best feature!

  15. Gabe, I hate to do this. I really hate myself for what I am about to say. But, since you are one of my favorite writers and it pains me to think of you hearing about this from someone who thinks he’s a better writer than you (which I do not), I have to correct you on your use of “begs the question.”

    You mean to say “raises the question.” To beg the question is to answer a question in a logically fallacious way by restating its premise. Like “Why does Gabe hate Jay Leno?” “Because he doesn’t like him very much.” Related to circular logic. Anyway, see here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

    Obviously, I found out about this when some pompous douchebag called me on it, meaning I have now become that which I hated. Fuck.

    • rachel  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2009 +10

      As someone who knows what you are talking about and can be kind of an asshole about grammar in general, I am going to go on record and declare that I am fine with “it begs the question” used in the manner it often is. I see it as a shortened “it begs [that] the question [be asked]” much like I am fine with people saying “hi” instead of “hello”.

      Anonymously admitting on the internet that I am okay with a barely controversial colloquialism that is ultimately of no consequence is a very tough thing to do, but sometimes you just have to stick your neck out, ya know?

      • It’s one of those phrases that has been misused so often, it will never be reclaimed. And in that sense, I agree we might as well stop caring. But at the same time, for a professional writer like Gabe, it’s probably best to avoid phrases like these. Linguists call them “skunked phrases,” because even if they’re so widely accepted as to qualify as correct, there are a lot of people out there who groan and roll their eyes when they hear them. I’d rather be aware of the issue.

        Another example is “irregardless.” The word is “regardless,” but people use “irregardless” in exactly the same way (see e.g. that loser on the Vatican thread that I called out). But because so many idiots use “irregardless,” it is now in Webster’s dictionary, which I suppose, makes it a word. But even though it is now technically “correct,” people still think you’re an idiot when you use it.

        “Begs the question” is not as bad, but same principle.

        • never play scrabble with a rogue dictionary! (“sox,” indeed.)

        • Linguists also use “standard” rather than “correct” to refer to academically sanctioned language and prescriptive grammars. There is an argument to be made that whatever the term “begs the question” once meant to everyone who used it, its semantic meaning shifts with the prevailing ability to comprehend it as meaning “begs that the question be asked”. Your reference to it having been “misused so often that it will never be reclaimed” arguably describes a situation where the meaning has ACTUALLY changed, and the phrase’s origin, its “standard” or “correct” usage amounts to academic jargon. Okay, fine, linguisticsgum. But what bothers ME as much as philosophy terminology bothers YOU, is seeing you refer to people who use non-standard forms (“irregardless”) as idiots. What looks or sounds idiotic to you is really just a case of someone not knowing the same rules you do. The rules of grammar are always arbitrary in the sense that they could as easily be one thing as another. “Irregardless” is more often used by people who do not have extensive academic training in Standard American English, but that should never be considered an indicator of their intelligence or capabilities. Education is important, and THE MORE YOU KNOW, but when it is used as an elitist shibboleth, i think grammar sux. Did you know that February is spelled that way because it used to be pronounced with that “r” sound in the middle? Nobody does that anymore, they would sound like an idiot.

          • Oh, fair enough. I don’t really think they are idiots. It just bugs me, so I throw out a hyperbolic label. Considering I have heard three professors at Berkeley law school use “irregardless,” it clearly has little correlation with intelligence. Still, you sound dumb when you say it.

      • This leaves me nauseous.

    • I never, ever knew this. Thanks, nerds!

  16. That footage of the *ahem* Predator walking around that convention area growling and pacing reminded me of my dog Izzy.
    Y’see, one day Izzy ( a black lab mutt) attacked a porcupine. Obviously the porcupine won, and Izzy had quills sticking out of her nose and muzzle. She was a super-ornery and ager-prone dog (territorial) and she wouldn’t let us get near her to pull them out (and we’re NOT paying for a trip to the vet, goldurnnit!).
    So my dad decided we would pour some brandy in a saucer of milk, get Izzy trashed, and then basically jump her drunk ass and pull the quills out. This plan ultimately backfired though, because all that did was make her angry AND drunk, and she continued to stagger around grumbling to herself (which connects back to the Predator in the convention hall bit, which is what got all this started).
    She did finally pass out though, albeit hours later. HOURS LATER. So we didn’t pay for a vet. HA!
    In conclusion, IVP (Izzy vs. Porcupine) will always be a way more entertaining story than any AVP bullshit, Topher or not.

    • Dude. I don’t hand out downvotes like crazy or anything, but I have to downvote you on this. Dog is in pain and you are proud that you (or dad) got it drunk and didn’t have to pay for a vet. Way to be an asshole.

      • Eh, to each his own. Vet’s are expensive, we lived on 6 acres. 5 dogs. 4 cats. 2 horses. The quills were in no way life threatening. They were just uncomfortable. She had gotten most of them out on her own anyway. Am I proud that Izzy was “in pain.” No. But getting animals drunk? There has always been comedy in that. Plus my dad’s scheme was hair-brained, which is also funny. And it worked. SO it was successful.
        Everyone won.
        Downvote away.

  17. My favorite HBO talk show featuring a panel of guests that discuss current events in politics and the media? Real Time with Bill Mahershalalhashbaz.

  18. When I went to LA, the only famous person I saw was Carrot Top. At Disneyland.

    • I live in Minneapolis.. I’ve seen the lead singer of Tapes ‘n Tapes, whats-her-horse-face from Sex and the City, and Louie Anderson. I’ve seen Garrison Kiellor, but it doesn’t count as a “sighting” because he just sort of lives in my recycle bin.. I see him every day for a couple seconds before he scampers behind the garage.

  19. his star had to dance down the stairs eventually…it’s always too soon for a quasi-celebrity to be reduced to air guitar-related gossip.

  20. Walter Kovacs  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2009 +5

    It’s always comforting to know that “That 70′s Show” remains popular in syndication. I fear the day it is no longer true.

  21. Freckles  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2009 -1

    Who is Topher Grace?

  22. jm  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2009 0

    Tofutti! I heard he is in talks to play Grass Valley Greg

  23. It’s good to know Topher eschews (??) the Rock Band trend and goes old school with the air guitar. I like to think of him as a rebel, tilting against windmills just to prove he’s so much cooler than Ashton and Wilmer Valderammalamadingdong.

    But yea, he’s probably just a d-bag too.

  24. I wondered what was going on with this Bozo. (I’ve been calling people ‘Bozo’ lately).

  25. Allow me to use a clever concept that I did not appropriate from anyone but definitely without a doubt made up by myself:

    As I am a tenured professor of comedy at the University of Hilarious, allow me to explain how this joke works. Topher Grace is sort of famous. Famous to the extent that he was on a relatively successful syndicated tv show with Ashton Kutcher and a girl that does a character voice on some show called “the family guy” and that he has had secondary roles in a few moderately successful movies. He is not, as we here at the U of H say, a “big time actor.” Just a medium time actor. Thus the humor is derived from giving an entire recurring piece to an actor/tertiary celebrity such as our good friend Topher.

  26. I have no problem with Topher. I think he’s a bit too skinny for being a grown man. I think he should revert to using “Chris” or “Christopher.” I think he’s all right, no reason to hate him. I thought Traffic blew, but not his fault. And while Topher might be a tertiary character, just reflect for a moment that this minor celeb is known to millions and has already made more money than all of us here put together.

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