Todd Joseph Miller, usually known as T.J. Miller (born June 4, 1981) is an actor, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. Born in Denver, Colorado, he's starred in a wide variety of films, usually comedies, including Our Idiot Brother (2011), Deadpool (2016) (2016), and Office Christmas Party (2016). As a voice actor, he's worked on the popular Gravity Falls program, the first two How to Train Your Dragon films, and 2010's Yogi Bear. In terms of TV, his role in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley earned him the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series' in 2015.
His comedic roles often involve a goofy, childlike glee, which goes well with his trademark Messy Hair. Depending on the work, this can slide from The Ditz to full-blown Cloudcuckoolander. Has a rap album (yes, really) called The Extended Play E.P., which he released in September 2011. You can get the gist of it by watching the official music video on YouTube of T.J. Miller performing the song called "T.J. Miller", which is all about T.J. Miller.
He was an up-and-coming star throughout the 2010s, being praised for his deadpan comedic delivery in live-action projects and, on the other end, his Large Ham delivery in animated projects, managing to score high-profile roles in either departments. However, a constant stream of public controversies and incidents involving him in the late 2010s effectively nipped his career in the bud.
Some of the tropes associated with the actor's works:
- Benevolent Boss: His role in Office Christmas Party is a particularly thick-headed yet charming example.
- The Cameo: Bo Burnham and Doug Benson make appearances on his album.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A lot of his work plays up this trope. More subtle performances wind up something like The Ditz.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The Extended Play E.P.
- Irony: Said release has a full forty-one tracks on it. Many of them are pretty short, though. It's chock full of hip-hop skits in particular as an Affectionate Parody of past padding-crammed rap albums.
- Hollywood Hype Machine: Appearing in a decent number of high big projects, Miller looked to be an up and coming star, but never truly hit the big time before a series of boneheaded actions destroyed his career.
- Messy Hair: Miller seems to be going for an early Bob Dylan (or maybe a younger Doc Brown) most of the time.
- Piss-Take Rap: Reviewing his hip-hop album, Allmusic.com remarked that Miller's skills were like if "Asher Roth,note The Bloodhound Gang, Andy Milonakis, Kool Keith, and Tom Green had a love child".note
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Prior to the release of Deadpool 2 in 2018, Miller was involved in several controversies. This included being named in the sexual abuse allegations during the Weinstein Effect, being accused of transphobia by a former friend and on-set bullying by his former Silicon Valley co-stars, and culminated in him calling in a fake bomb threat at Penn Station after being removed from a train. As a result, the lines he recorded as Tuffnut for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World were re-dubbed and Ryan Reynolds has stated that Miller will not be reprising his role as Weasel in future Deadpool films. He did not appear in another film until 2020's The Stand-In (his role in Underwater was shot pre-controversy).
- Miller's well aware of his penchant for playing airheads, and he'll often play this up for additional laughs. In a late 2016 episode of the show Conan, for example, he appeared with a safety pin through his ear, explaining that it was done in solidarity with opponents of President-elect Donald Trump (many protesters had adopted pins on their clothing as a political symbol). Before too long, Miller's ear apparently started to bleed, and he complained about feeling "dizzy".
- Miller's hip-hop album is loaded with this sort of thing, done in a way that's drowning in shout outs:
- "I'm like Donald Duck / You can't understand a word"note
- "I'm dangerous and friendly to kids / Call me Notorious B.I.G Bird"
- Slapstick: On the big screen, small screen, and elsewhere. To pick a 2017 example, Miller made his entrance to the Cannes Film Festival by parasailing over to the premises, immediately careening into a speedboat and twisting himself upside down. To top it off, he was wearing a bright yellow ''Dick Tracy''-style outfit (see a picture here) to promote his upcoming film.
- So Unfunny, It's Funny: Miller's work has shades of this, together with Surreal Humor. His aforementioned album includes quick moments that are literally nothing more than him spouting off random words, including "tender foot" and "balsa wood."note