Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Timothy Olyphant's mom can't tell him apart from Josh Duhamel, either

The Olyphant family (missing: Timothy Olyphant)
The Olyphant family (missing: Timothy Olyphant)
Screenshot: Conan

Appearing once more to the delight and hilarious annoyance of pal Conan O’Brien on Monday’s Conan, actor Timothy Olyphant teased the Conan host throughout over the impending end of the host’s TBS tenure. “Why do I have to be here now?,” complained Olyphant upon O’Brien noting that the show plans to have its live audience back for the last-ever two weeks before the show’s June 24 final bow. (Olyphant struggled to pick Andy Richter out of the sea of cardboard audience surrogates swarming the seats of Conan’s pandemic home base of Largo.)

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And while the former Justified and Deadwood badass likes to mischievously bully Conan into playing along with whatever bits seem more interesting than the pre-planned talk show chatter (a seemingly simply anecdote about going back to finish his USC degree online during the pandemic turns into an extended bout of Conan-baiting), he was especially delighted when certified badass Snoop Dogg gave him the ultimate compliment in front of his kids. (At the Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood premiere, Snoop—twice—called Olyphant “a bad motherfucker, prompting him to boast to his suitably impressed offspring, “See? I told you!”)

Of course, there’s being famous enough for Snoop, and then there’s being famous enough that your own mom can pick you out of a lineup. That’s where even a dashingly bad motherfucker can really take a blow in the old ego, as Olyphant explained concerning the time he and another famous actor decided to just lean into their long history of getting mistaken for each other. Conceding that, yes, he does bear a certain resemblance to other square-jawed, salt-and-pepper leading man Josh Duhamel, Olyphant told Conan about how, when the two finally met (at a Dodgers charity event last year), they thought it would be a hoot to have Duhamel pose with Olyphant’s family, and then send that out as the Olyphant Christmas card. Pretty good gag, if you have the famous sort-of lookalike out there to pull it off. Sadly for The Mandalorian guest star (spoiler: he played a badass), even his mom was taken in by the goof, offering up only one deflating observation when her other son pointed out that she’d been posting a picture of a complete stranger on her refrigerator all holiday season.

“I thought he looked taller,” Olyphant’s own mother is reported to have said, proving that nobody’s a badder motherfucker than mom when it comes to knocking your Hollywood-sized butt back down to size. For his part, Olyphant was a good sport about the whole thing, in that he big-timed Duhamel’s turn in the tights as the aged superhero of Netflix’s would-be MCU rival, Jupiter’s Legacy. “It’s like a superhero thing,” noted Olyphant with mock enthusiasm, “I think it’s great.” (As it turns out, Duhamel was promoting Jupiter’s Legacy on Late Night With Seth Meyers on the same night, and finished up with the same anecdote, but—unlike some mother’s we could mention—we chose Olyphant.)

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.