Toby Radloff

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Toby Radloff
Toby Radloff, 2021.jpg
Radloff in August 2021
Born (1957-12-12) December 12, 1957 (age 65)
Occupation Film actor
Known for Killer Nerd

Toby Radloff (born December 12, 1957) is a former file clerk and actor who became a minor celebrity owing to his appearances in Cleveland writer Harvey Pekar's autobiographical comic book series American Splendor . Radloff has a distinctive manner of speech and quirky mannerisms. [1] He is a self-proclaimed "Genuine Nerd".



Radloff met Pekar in 1980 when Radloff was hired at Cleveland's Veterans Administration Hospital, and shortly became a recurring character in American Splendor. [2] [3]

Television profiles of Pekar at work at the VA Hospital, in which Radloff appeared, led to Radloff being featured as a "special correspondent" in a few short comedic pieces on MTV in the late 1980s [4] about Cleveland and White Castle hamburgers (a particular favorite of Radloff's). [5] Radloff was also a frequent guest on a local Cleveland cable access show, The Eddie Marshall Show.[ citation needed ]

Radloff is a huge admirer of the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds , which he estimates to have seen at least 25 times; [3] his enthusiasm for the film was documented in the American Splendor comic (and in a number of scenes in the American Splendor film). Radloff's public persona as a "Genuine Nerd," cemented by his appearances on MTV, led to his starring roles as Harold Kunkle in the comedy horror film Killer Nerd (1991) and its sequel Bride of Killer Nerd (1992). [6]

In the 2003 American Splendor film, the adaptation of Pekar's work, Radloff is played by Judah Friedlander, and also appears as himself in the documentary sections of the film. [7] Radloff publicly came out as gay after the film's release. [3]

In 2006, a documentary on Radloff entitled Genuine Nerd was released, produced by Wayne Alan Harold, the creator of Radloff's original MTV segments (and co-director of the Killer Nerd films). [8]

On August 3, 2006, Radloff tried out to be the next "Wack Packer" on The Howard Stern Show , but lost in the finals because Stern and crew felt that he was too famous. [9] [10]

In June, 2020, Radloff started appearing in Wayne Alan Harold's web series Cheapskate Theater. In the videos, Radloff humorously reviews vintage horror and science-fiction movies.

Comic book appearances

Source: [11]
All stories written by Harvey Pekar.


1991 Killer Nerd Harold Kunkle
1992 Bride of Killer Nerd Harold Kunkle
1999 Townies Dickie
2003 American Splendor Real Toby
2006 The Oh in Ohio Toby
2006 Genuine Nerd Himself
2007 Cordoba Nights Man in parked car
2008 The Comic Book Lady Toby
2012 Sonny Days Russell
2019Spirit AnimalTree of Life

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  1. Murray, Noel. "The changing face of 'nerds' (and autism) in popular culture," AV Club (Jan. 16, 2013).
  2. Admn. "TOBY RADLOFF: A REAL AMERICAN NERD," Film Threat Feb. 18, 2003).
  3. 1 2 3 Dennis Hensley (September 3, 2003). "Revenge of the nerd". The Advocate. pp. 53–54.
  4. Hanks, Henry. "'My Life as Liz' and the evolution of the MTV nerd," (February 15, 2011).
  5. Muss-Barnes, Eric. "Book Review: Our Movie Year by Harvey Pekar, 31 July 2015," Inkshard: A Compendium of Essays by Eric Muss-Barnes (Lulu Press, 2019).
  6. Pekar, Harvey (and Josh Neufed). "Hollywood Reporter," American Splendor: Our Movie Year (Random House, December 2004).
  7. Mitchell, Elvis (August 15, 2003). "American Splendor (2003) Film Review; A Comics Guy, Outside the Box". The New York Times .
  8. Gibron, Bill (July 10, 2006). "Genuine Nerd".
  9. Panasci, Thomas; Kaplan, Jason (2006-08-03). "The Next Wack Packer". Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  10. Mercer, Mark (2006-08-03). "Thursday, August 3, 2006". Marksfriggin. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  11. "Toby Radloff" search, Grand Comics Database. Accessed July 31, 2019.