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Why Officer Walter From Walk Of Shame Looks So Familiar

A big alternative to enjoying films in public during the COVID-19 pandemic has been catching up with older titles at home with the click of a remote — a means made easier with the thousands of films available on various streaming services. It's there where viewers can discover for the first time movies that bombed (or merely fell between the cracks) during their brief theatrical runs. One of the beneficiaries of new life on streaming is the 2014 Elizabeth Banks comedy "Walk of Shame," which is enjoying a newfound popularity on Netflix.

The wonderful thing about films getting second chances with viewers is that it allows for them to see the earlier work of actors who may not have been as popular when said movies were released initially — a potential contributor as to why the film bombed in the first place. 

Certainly, Elizabeth Banks was a known commodity when "Walk of Shame" came out, with recurring roles on such TV hits as "Scrubs" and "30 Rock," as well as memorable film turns in such film franchises (as Effie Trinket) in "The Hunger Games" saga. In "Walk of Shame," Banks played the lead role of Meghan, a TV reporter who finds herself stranded in L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money after a night of partying and a one night stand with handsome stranger named Gordon (James Marsden). Exacerbating the quandary is the fact that Meghan only has eight hours to get to an interview for a dream job as am anchor. Banks wasn't the only familiar face in "Walk of Shame," though, whose career grew much bigger in the ensuing years. Another major face in the cast is standup comedian-actor Bill Burr, who played the memorable role of Officer Walter in the film. 

Here's why Burr looks so familiar.

Bill Burr was a sketch player on Chappelle's Show

Since a lot of standup comedians are in the trenches together as they try to forge their careers on stage, it wasn't unusual to see somebody the likes of Dave Chappelle featuring his buddies in sketches on his landmark television show. Burr was among them, as he appeared on three episodes in Season 2 of Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show" in 2004.

Burr appeared in various roles in his guest turns to "Chappelle's Show," but perhaps the most memorable one came with his role as a sports-like commentator in the series' controversial "Racial Draft" sketch. Hearkening the hype that goes with the annual NFL draft, the Racial Draft finds famous people with mixed lineage on the draft boards, and as such, race delegations can negotiate and draft participants to become solely a part of their race. Chappelle, of course, didn't appear to care whether he would get into trouble broaching such touchy subjects, which subsequently led to his massive popularity and fame. Even so, it would be interesting to see if either he or Burr — an unapologetic in-your-face comic — would come close to touching the 17-year-old "Racial Draft" sketch in today's more volatile social climate.

Bill Burr was part of Melissa McCarthy's boisterous family in The Heat

No matter the size of his roles, Burr uses the whole runway when it comes to giving life to his characters — and he wasted no energy in his small but hilarious turn in Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock's 2013 buddy cop comedy "The Heat." Burr played Mark Mullins, the boisterous brother of McCarthy's detective character, Shannon Mullins. Shannon feels the heat from Mark in the film's hilarious family dinner scene, when she unexpectedly visits the family home in Boston with FBI Agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock). In no uncertain terms, Mark, his mother (Jane Curtain) and other family members accuse Shannon of being "a rat" for arresting her own brother at one point. It's one of the scenes in which Sarah discovers where Shannon's outlandish demeanor originated.

Fans had to have known that they were to be exposed to tons of bawdy humor from McCarthy, Burr, and the like going in, considering director Paul Feig was also at the helm of the equally spicy 2011 comedy blockbuster "Bridesmaids."

Bill Burr played one of Saul Goodman's henchmen in Breaking Bad

While Bill Burr is largely known for his comedic roles, the actor has proven time and again that he can play in straight in dramatic roles. Among them is the 2014 Kevin Costner family legal drama "Black or White," the 2018 Hugh Jackman political drama "The Front Runner," and a recurring role in the Emmy-winning crime series "Breaking Bad." Appearing in five episodes from 2013 to 2015, Burr played Patrick Kuby, a henchman for Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). 

Burr was set to reprise Kuby in Odenkirk's spinoff series "Better Call Saul" as well, but later revealed that he had to bow out over personal reasons.

"I was supposed to be on it, and unfortunately I had somebody who was dying, and I knew if I did it, I was going to miss [the show]," Burr told host Rich Eisen on "The Rich Eisen Show" in 2019. "I had to visit him, I had to say goodbye. It sucked. The whole thing sucked. Because ['Breaking Bad' creator] Vince Gilligan is the reason why I have an acting career."

Bill Burr starred opposite Pete Davidson and Marisa Tomei in The King of Staten Island

Bill Burr showed that he had a terrific handle on combining comedy and drama — in one role — as Ray Bishop, the firefighter boyfriend of Marisa Tomei's Margie Carlin in director Judd Apatow's 2020 dramedy "The King of Staten Island." Ray and Margie's relationship draws the ire of Margie's son, Scott (Pete Davidson), because Ray was a colleague of his late father, Stan, who died while fighting a fire.

Making "The King of Staten Island" even more poignant is that the film is a semi-autobiographical tale based on Davidson's life after the death of his father, a firefighter who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. In an exclusive interview with Looper to talk about the film, Burr said Ray was an amalgam of people Davidson knew in his life once his mother started dating again after losing her husband: "Pete has talked about his mother dating after his father died, and I think Ray sort of represented all of these new guys that were coming around," Burr said. "He also represented 'not Pete's dad' and life going on. He represented everything that Pete's character didn't want to deal with."

While Burr attracted a lot of positive attention for his work on "The King of Staten Island," another gig in 2020 — hosting duties on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" — left viewers split. In his trademark fearless way, Burr made jokes in the opening monologue at everyone's expense, including those at the center of hot-button social issues. 

Bill Burr played the mercenary Mayfield on The Mandalorian

One of the biggest surprises of the first season of "The Mandalorian" in 2019 was the appearance of Bill Burr as Mayfield, an ex-Imperial sharpshooter-turned-mercenary who betrays Mando (Pablo Pascal) on prison break mission before he gets his own comeuppance. The irony of Burr's casting on the enormously popular streaming series was that he was known for making fun of "Star Wars" in his standup routine.

"It wasn't a personal thing with 'Star Wars,'" Burr told Looper in "The King of Staten Island" interview. "It was just funny that grown people were dressed up like Chewbacca and Darth Vader — like, how do you not make fun of that? There's something hilarious about that. I'm actually really surprised that so many 'Star Wars' fans accepted the fact that I was in 'The Mandalorian.'"

Lucky for Burr and "Star Wars" fans, the comedian reprised Mayfield for another episode in Season 2 of the series in 2020. Since Mayfield's storyline drew to a satisfying conclusion, it remains to be seen whether he'll be back for another turn as the character either in a future season of "The Mandalorian" or the upcoming series "The Book of Boba Fett."