Stephen Tobolowsky is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. He has appeared in more than 150 film and television projects over the last twenty years. While most people are not familiar with his name, almost everyone knows his characters: Ned Ryerson, the annoying insurance salesman in Groundhog Day, Clayton Townley, the local KKK leader in Mississippi Burning or Sammy Jankis in Memento.
Stephen Tobolowsky is part of a disappearing group of actors – character actors – who are not major stars yet can make a living practising their craft in Hollywood films. In Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party filmmakers Robert Brinkmann and Andrew Putschoegl follow Stephen on his birthday and document a performance he gives for the cameras and a group of friends, during which he tells stories about his experiences in Hollywood. Instead of his regular role as a supporting actor, Stephen takes the stage in Birthday Party and shows that he has the charisma to hold the audience’s attention without the help of a script.