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Guest Programmer - Simon Helberg
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Simon Helberg Profile

Simon Helberg, TCM Guest Programmer for November, is celebrated for his role as Howard Wolowitz, the would-be Casanova of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, now in its seventh season on CBS-TV, and airing on TCM sister network TBS. Born in Los Angeles, Helberg has appeared in a number of other TV shows and in feature films including the Coen Brothers' 2009 A Serious Man. A specialist in comedy and a self-professed fan of classic film, Helberg makes programming choices that reflect both interests.

Helberg's first picks are two Peter Sellers films of the 1960s: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) and The Party (1968). "He obviously was a genius," Helberg says of Sellers to TCM host Robert Osborne, adding that, in addition to the hilarious comedy in a Sellers performance, "You're getting great acting and storytelling and drama... I don't even think of him as a comedian, really."

Helberg also admires writer/director/actor Albert Brooks, with a particular fondness for Modern Romance (1981), a comic tour-de-force in which Brooks plays a neurotic man enduring a romantic breakup. "When I saw this I felt I had found a home for my craziness," says Helberg. The wild card in his selections is Brief Encounter (1945), David Lean's understated film version of a delicate Noel Coward story about a genteel middle-aged pair who are tempted to commit adultery. "I love the intimacy of this movie," Helberg says. "It's so much about what's happening on their faces... I could watch it again and again."
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  • The Party
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  • Brief Encounter (Criterion Collection)
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