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Why Boyle From Brooklyn Nine-Nine Looks So Familiar

Since debuting on Fox in 2013, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been revered not only as the funniest series on television, but also one of the most overlooked, with little more than a strong cult following keeping it afloat in the network realm. The series, which follows a ragtag band of kooky cops running amok in the titular New York borough, eventually got the axe from its Fox bosses, breaking the hearts of that fiercely devoted fan base. Luckily, NBC resurrected the series a few weeks later, and the world continues to laugh at the ongoing antics of the 99th Precinct.

If you're not yet among them, the show is centered around Andy Samberg's Detective Jake Peralta, a cavalier cop who's maybe gotten a little too used to calling his own shots on the job. But things begin to chance for Peralta when a super-serious new Captain (Andre Braugher) takes control and shakes things up in "the nine-nine." That's about as much of a setup as you'll get in regards to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, because saying any more really would ruin much of the show's unpredictably absurdist charm. Just know that the series finds Andy Samberg at his absolute best as the obliviously cocksure Peralta, and that the rest of the series' cast is every bit as good in their wildly disparate roles. 

Among those cast members, savvy viewers with a taste for funny-bone tickling content are sure to see a familiar face or three. The actor who portrays Peralta's hard-working, but perpetually clumsy, bestie Detective Charles Boyle will be one of them. It belongs to funnyman Joe Lo Truglio, and you've definitely seen him before. Here's why Boyle from Brooklyn Nine-Nine looks so familiar. 

Joe Lo Truglio broke loose and kept the peace on Reno 911!

It's a safe bet that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is many viewer's first exposure to the comedic stylings of Joe Lo Truglio, and there's little question his brilliant work as Boyle on the series is worthy of a breakout moment for the man. But the truth is, he's been making viewers laugh out loud on screens big and small for the better part of three decades now.

Lo Truglio actually got his first taste of the spotlight as a key cast member on MTV's cult sketch comedy series The State (alongside Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, and David Wain). Fans of The State would be quick to tell you just how tightly knit that crew was. And true to that fact, the group has worked frequently re-united on screen in the years since that beloved series ended, with Lo Truglio joining his fellow The State breakouts Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kennedy, and Robert Ben Garant for a recurring role in another cult hit series: that show was Comedy Central's gonzo cop romp Reno 911!, which follows the hilarious hi-jinks of a ragtag band of wildly incompetent Nevada police officers. And yes, Lo Truglio played a fumbling cop in that show as well, though Deputy Rizzo is hardly the bastion of decency that Boyle at least aspires to. Either way, Lo Truglio's work on Reno 911! is every bit as inspired, and has helped the actor earn some of the later series' biggest laughs.

Jo Lo Truglio stole the show with his infamous Superbad cameo

While Joe Lo Truglio has racked up a whopping 100 screen credits throughout his career, the actor has rarely played the part of leading man. He has, however, frequently stolen the show from leads via a string of scene-stealing supporting turns. And of the many scenes Lo Truglio has stolen over the years, few are quite as memorable as his side-splitting cameo in 2007's Superbad.

Penned by Seth Green and Evan Goldberg, produced by Judd Apatow, and directed by the great Greg Mottola, that film of course featured Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as a trio of sex-crazed high school outsiders desperate to make the most of a fateful weekend via a booze-fueled night of partying. That plan naturally goes awry in ways too crazy to fully get into here, but it's safe to say that one of the group's funniest narrative foils comes in the parking lot of a liquor store, once a guy named Francis hits one of them with his car.

Those who've indulged in endless re-watches of Superbad since its release know exactly how far astray Hill's and Cera's characters are led by the super-sketchy Francis. And while that wild party scene is the stuff of comedic legend, it pales in comparison to Lo Truglio's "let's make a deal" moment in the parking lot of that liquor store. Truth is, it may well be the funniest scene in the entire movie — which really is saying a lot, because Superbad is bursting at the seams with them.     

Joe Lo Truglio was a key member of the legendary Wet Hot American Summer ensemble

To circle back around to Joe Lo Truglio's affiliation with MTV's The State, it remains unassailably cool how that wily crew has continued to collaborate since the series ended — particularly as the show aired its finale almost thirty years ago. Still, a few years after The State officially disbanded, several key members (Wain, Showalter, Black, Marino, Kenney and Lo Truglio) re-assembled for an era-defining comedic event film the likes of which the world had never seen. In doing so, they also brought along an insanely talented group of up-and-comers (Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Rudd among them) to fill out a sprawling ensemble cast worthy of the film's epic ambition ...

Okay, so 2001's Wet Hot American Summer may not quite earn that "era-defining" label, but it was unarguably a comedic event film the likes of which the world had never seen. Almost twenty years after its release, that remains true. And thanks to a fervid fan base who continue to champion it as a comedic cult classic of the first order, new generations of viewers continue to discover the manically satirical, over-sexed antics of the Camp Firewood gang. 

Both new and old fans of the film will no doubt recognize Joe Lo Truglio as Wet Hot American Summer's Neil, the nerdy, bespectacled sidekick to Ken Marino's alpha-male horn-dog Vic. And while Marino's grandstanding work tends to overshadow the slightly less showy work of his co-star, a second or third viewing of Wet Hot American Summer (which his highly recommended, by the way) will reveal the slyly subversive genius of what Lo Truglio brings to the mix. Ditto for the actor's work in both of the WHAS followup projects.