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Why Bennigan From Little Demon Sounds So Familiar

The FX animated sitcom "Little Demon" features the tagline, "Even the AntiChrist needs a mom," which ought to tell you the kind of humor you can expect from the mature-rated series. It benefits from the formidable talents of the DeVito family, including Danny as the voice of Satan and his real-life daughter, Lucy, as the titular character, Chrissy, and the presence of "Rick and Morty "co-creator Dan Harmon as executive producer. 

"Little Demon" begins with the onset of Chrissy's period, which turns out to be a hyper-violent mess — as well as a beacon that can lead her dad straight to her. Despite its newness, it's a show that's getting a bit of attention. Variety says it "shows fiendish potential" with its intelligence, crude laughs, and bloodiness. 

If you're watching it already, you've met the fellow Middletown Junior High student named Bennigan — he shows up just a couple of minutes into the first episode as a romantic interest for Chrissy, who is used to not having a whole lot of friends as a result of her mom moving around all the time to avoid her ex. You might think his voice is familiar, and you'd be right. The Filipino performer who voices him, Eugene Cordero, has had a long career in the entertainment industry both as a voiceover artist and an actor. He's even the face of Simply beverages right now. Here's where else you might know him.

He had a couple of roles in Steven Universe

Eugene Cordero is a funny man who started appearing on-screen doing improv with the Upright Citizens Bridge, getting jobs on projects like "Funny or Die Presents..." and "CollegeHumor Originals." He also landed small guest roles on shows like "Arrested Development," "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in the early 2010s as his career was heating up. Around this time, though, he started appearing more frequently in TV series with recurring roles, and one of the shows that hired him multiple times was "Steven Universe." 

Cordero used his comedy chops to play two characters over the course of the show from 2013 to 2018. In "Buddy's Book" during the fourth season, the actor voiced Buddy Buddwick, author and explorer whose legacy figures largely in Beach City. In a handful of other episodes, he played Jamie, the postman actor-wannabe who failed to make it big in Kansas and also had a thing for Garnet, who rejects him and advises him to start with local theater. In this universe, Jamie created the play "Beach City of Bust: The Tale of William Dewey" and also showed off skills in puppetry and mime. 

He acted alongside major names in Kong: Skull Island

Although no stranger to guest-starring roles in TV shows like "Hawaii 5-0," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Key and Peele," "Parks and Recreation" and many more in the mid-to-late 2010s, Eugene Cordero's presence in the movies was less apparent. You might have glimpsed him as an unnamed bass guitarist in 2016's female-led "Ghostbusters," for example. 

But in 2017, Cordero had a bit of a meatier role, as soldier Joe Reles in the film "Kong: Skull Island." While he didn't get a huge amount of screen time compared to some of the others in the cast, he at least survived — Reles was one of the few left in the military contingent led by Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston's characters. He survived the giant monsters and helped Kong defeat the Skullcrawler.

"That movie was a big deal for me just because it was like, I was surrounded by movie stars," the actor, who especially enjoyed the experience of working with Jackson, told Entertainment Weekly in 2020.

He's recognized a lot for his role in The Good Place

Among his many TV appearances, one of Eugene Cordero's highest-profile recurring jobs came as Jason's (Manny Jacinto) best friend Pillboi in "The Good Place." In an A.V. Club interview, Cordero said, "It's just funny that we play, I was going to say, two sides of a brain, but we're both the same side of a brain. And still not a complete brain together."  

Pillboi, whose real name was Steven Peleaz, was an amateur DJ and part of Jason's dance crew. Jason convinced him to help rob the safe at a Mexican restaurant — an incident Jason did not survive. The two had a rather elaborate handshake they shared, which Cordero told "Couch Surfing" (via Entertainment Weekly) took the two just 10 minutes to perfect. Pillboi also worked at a nursing home, where he was known for advising residents on how to combine pills for the best high.

Cordero told the A.V. Club in 2019 that he gets recognized more often for his role in "The Good Place" than anything else. However, given what this role and other past successes led to, that may no longer be true.

He has appeared in both the Star Wars universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

More recently, Eugene Cordero has become a resident of certain favorite sci-fi universes. You may recall seeing and hearing Cordero in "The Mandalorian" — he played Stoke, one of the members of the fishing village in the first season's "Chapter 4: Sanctuary" that tries to hire Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), hiding with little Grogu, to help protect the village from raiders. 

The actor joked with Comicbook.com that he took part because of the long-haired wig he got to wear. "I mean, how could you not want to be part of something like this, and talk about a change in technology and how things have changed," he said. "There wasn't a single green screen when we were shooting on stage there. It was all monitors, and it looked so real. It was like NASA and it was amazing. But to be able to act with [Baby] Yoda — well, The Child — come on. That's the oldest actor I think I've ever worked with."

He also played Casey, the bureaucrat at the Time Variance Authority in "Loki." You remember him — he was the one who helped Tom Hiddleston's character realize how truly insignificant Infinity Stone pieces are. Cordero's character even had a variant of his own, Hunter K-5E. So yes, he's a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor even confirmed in an interview with Screen Rant that he'll be back as part of the second season cast, although he couldn't say exactly what his next appearance would entail.

He plays a regular character in the Star Trek universe

Eugene Cordero is also a part of the "Star Trek" universe, thanks to his being part of the main cast of "Lower Decks." He voices Samanthan Rutherford, a human engineering ensign with a cyborg implant in the animated Paramount+ series that focuses on the lower-ranking members of the starship Cerritos. The actor loves the fact that he's playing someone who is part cyborg, telling Trekmovie.com, "As a kid, there would be nothing more than I'd want than be part robot. Are you kidding me? So then to be that within the world of 'Star Trek' is just amazing. And to fit into the world of representing Asian Americans in anything and the way he's drawn and how cool he is." He'll be part of the show's fourth season, which is expected in 2023 with 10 new episodes. 

A crossover between the live-action "Strange New Worlds" and animated "Lower Decks" is expected in the former's Season 2, but it doesn't appear that Cordero will be involved this time around, which is a shame, since he told Screen Rant he'd totally be up for it. "I mean, you mean what I wear that [headpiece and] shave my eyebrows and shave the sides of my head? ... Would I wear an awesome Starfleet uniform? Absolutely. All of those things I would do."