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Sean M. Nepita

Hey Sean M. Nepita! Welcome to the Goliard. We finally tracked you down and positively identified you! And now that we have, we just wanted to use this space to let you know that you are the man!

For the rest of you, even if the name Sean M. Nepita doesn't ring a bell, we'd be willing to bet that his face will look familiar. You've probably seen him hundreds of times. IBM, Ford (or it might be Dodge), Direct TV. He's become one of our favorite working actors. The reason for our increased adulation is that, in Sean M. Nepita, we've identified a man with the perfect expressions to define our time. Sardonic. Jaded without being too bitter. Sloppily business casual. Nepita is the master of all these looks. Obviously, we aren't the only ones who think so which is why he continues to be cast in so many commercials.

Nepita has become such a familiar face in fact, that we have come to think of him as a fellow Goliard. Like Mark from Holiday Inn and the Seinfeld cast before him, he has slowly evolved and embedded himself to the point where we feel that he is one of us. We find ourselves comforted when he's around. There we'll be, sitting at the wrong bar in a strange city watching some sporting event, when we'll find ourselves suddenly at ease as if an old friend had just showed up. And this simply because, there, up on the TV in the corner, is our man Nepita, hawking some product or other. We never even usually remember or even know what he's supposed to be selling but, like the happy drunk on the last bar stool, he just always seems to be around. He is, in a word, ubiquitous.

We were a bit surprised therefore, given this ubiquity, when we tried to seek more information about him on the Web and found that there didn't seem to be any. Wasn't he an aspiring actor? Shouldn't he have his own website or fansite that some family member or other had put up for him? Wouldn't he have been interviewed by his college or high school newspaper under the local boy makes good umbrella. But we looked and there was nothing! In fact, it took all our staff's extensive skills and some plain old dumb luck just to be able to track down his name. And this is a guy who is on TV more than Geraldo during a disaster.

At first we spent time clumsily searching the net for info but came up completely empty. This, quite possibly, was due to the fact that all we had to go on was the commercials he was in. We tried googling "IBM guys in Paris" "Guy in Dodge Truck who smells bad" "Guy who drops his buddy's laptop" "Guy who demonstrates the Direct TV favorites feature and figure skating comes on instead of hockey". All to no avail. Finally, we thought we had a breakthrough when we were sitting through an otherwise forgettable film called Elizabethtown and suddenly there was Nepita up on the big screen. He was only visible for a quick second, (just long enough to give one of his patented sardonic looks to star Orlando Bloom), and appeared to be playing a reporter of some kind. We thought we had something until, as we eagerly looked through the credits, we found that it didn't say "reporter" anywhere but merely listed all the characters by name. This seemed bizarre given the fact that there is no way the viewer could have known, by watching the movie, what most of the people's names were since nobody ever says them in the actual film. Looking through the cast later on the Internet Movie Database, we saw that someone named Sean Nepita had played someone named "Mike Bohanon" in the film but since we had no idea which of the many peripheral characters might have been assigned the name "Mike Bohanon" or why they would even bother to make up names for people who would never be known or called by them, this wasn't a whole lot of help.

But we kept at it and while searching the
Elizabethtown site in more detail later, we found ourselves clicking on each actor that seemed a possibility. No pictures were available for most of the minor characters however and, in some cases, no listing for any other roles at all. Certainly no tally of their commercial appearances. And when we got down the list to Nepita, he certainly didn't have a picture and, since we hadn't seen any of the other films listed in his small oeuvre and would have had to go rent them and cross reference them all to make any progress, we just moved on. We could have spent months renting B movies and researching each minor cast member and still might not be any closer to finding our man. Unfortunately the only movie we'd seen and knew for sure he was in was Elizabethtown which happened to be one of those movies with hundreds of wedding guests and extras everywhere so this made it a daunting task indeed trying to find out who "Mike Bohanon" and the guy who played him might be. And since the actor we were looking for doesn't really seem like he should have a name like Sean M. Nepita anyway, it wasn't one of the names we thought to paste into Google when we originally saw it.

We see now that Nepita's first film mention on IMDB reads like this:

Over the Wire (1996) (uncredited) .... Man

That sounds about right actually, in hindsight, since it could really be the tag line for all his cumulative work up to this point. In fact "(uncredited) .... Man" seems to sum up Nepita's career quite nicely even if it doesn't begin to do him justice. If he were to sit down to pen his autobiography, "(uncredited) .... Man" would have to be the working title. But like we said, we had no way of knowing at the time that the actor playing Bohanon was the right guy anyway.

Our big breakthrough came while one of us was stuck breast feeding and watching something on cable. The baby kicked the remote off the arm of the couch and it landed just out of reach where mommy couldn't retrieve it without causing a minor incident or losing a nipple. No harm done she thought until she looked up and noticed that the remote's bounce on the floor had also switched the channel and the film Titanic was now showing. Having not enjoyed Titanic all that much the first time she sat through it, our stranded nurser reports that she was not happy with this development and begin to scrap around with her toes trying to locate and drag home the remote. Suddenly though, out of the blue, she looked up at the screen and spotted Sean M. Nepita toiling deep within the bowels of the doomed, sinking vessel. There he was, working as an elevator operator manning his post and then abandoning Kate Winslet as the ship goes down. With this info, we were then able to use IMDB to trace him definitively at the Titanic site. Finally, there it was; "Sean Nepita (as Sean M. Nepita) .... Carney the elevator operator." It also confirmed that he was Bohanon in Elizabethtown.

Now that we had finally learned his name, we figured it would be an easy thing to track down some more info on his career. But all Google turned up was the Internet Movie Database stuff we'd already seen and a bunch of similar crap from all the hundreds of other less organized movie sites that basically just list his name and the minor character he played in some B grade film. Officer Murphy in 1998's Progeny. Freddie in 1999's Best Laid Plans. Sherwood Jones is a 2002 film called Cottonmouth. Truman Jones in another 2002 movie called Usher (perhaps a Jones' boys sequel). We hadn't seen any of these films and searching the Web for images only revealed the picture at right (from some sketchy photo outfit in LA with a broken link) and the headshot at left from one of the Titanic sites, neither of which are very good pictures or come close to capturing his essence. We finally got the picture at the top of this page by sitting in front of the TV with a camera waiting for one of his ads to come on. We only had to wait for about twenty minutes and there he was, sitting in the front of a truck while everyone else gets in the back. He flashes them all the look of course.

Thinking about all this, we realized that marketing departments and commercial outfits who want an actor to play the part of everyman in one of their bits are not about to publicize the name of a person if he's not a star even if he's the main face of their product. They want him to be identified, not as Sean M. Nepita, but as "one of those IBM guys that are always standing in lines and sitting in coffee shops making witty remarks." And Nepita himself is probably kept so busy running from commercial set to commercial set, that he doesn't have the time to create a web presence for himself from which to further market and advertise his skills. This is where The Goliard comes in and why we decided to do it for him. From now on, when someone searches for Sean M. Nepita, they will find the Goliard first and benefit from all of our leg work. And if we ever get any contact information for him, we'll post it here and make it one stop Sean M. Nepita shopping.

And come on Hollywood! You're dropping the ball. You made stars out of lunks like Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer and they don't have half the screen presence that our man Nepita does. A whole sitcom could be devoted just to Nepita's sardonic guy. We predict it would be wildly successful. At the very least, he belongs on Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development as a side character or neighbor who intervenes in the action every so often. All he needs is a shot. You could have him in a role where he is merely sitting around listening to other people talk crap all the time. Just watching his expressions as he listened to the blah blah blah would be enough to keep us tuning it. He would make the perfect bartender in some pub where the show could be about people stopping in to tell him all their problems everyday. Or maybe a cabdriver. A bored doorman. Some famous woman's tag along husband. The guy in the next cubicle or a cop on the beat. The sky's the limit with this guy. Someone besides big corporations hoping to develop a modern identity must need the perfect everyman that so definitively embodies our time. Well look no further. We're convinced that Nepita is it. Give this guy his own gig of some kind for Pete's sake!

In any event, we can tell you this much; When The Goliard - The Movie goes into production, Sean M. Nepita is the first actor we're calling. If we can find the information on where to reach him that is.

Update - We have contact! The below arrived in November 2006

"Hey Goliard,

Thank you for your kind and supportive words!  Your article was very much appreciated by
my friends, family, and myself.  Like many people I don't know what tomorrow has in store
for me, but know this, I'm ready for it.
Thank you again.

all the best,

Sean Nepita"
From Seannepita@Mac.com
Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved.