Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hey, Bub!

I recently re-watched George Romero's Day Of The Dead. It's not my favorite of his Zombie Trilogy (that honor goes to Dawn Of The Dead), but it has its moments.

The highlight of the film of course is Bub The Zombie. Bub's the greatest zombie character to ever come out of the horror genre. He ably demonstrates that zombies aren't just shambling corpses with a taste for human brains, but are capable of learning and actual thought. He's probably the first zombie to actually have a personality, and be a full-fledged character rather than a background prop.

I first saw Day Of The Dead back in the 1980s, and ever since I've always thought the actor who played Bub looked strangely familiar. I had no idea who he was, but I definitely felt I'd seen him in something before. Finally here in 2020 it occurred to me to simply look him up! Sometimes it takes a while for me to think of things.

Anywho, a quick check of the internet revealed that Bub was played by actor Sherman Howard— or, as he's billed in Day Of The Dead, Howard Sherman.

Whichever direction he says his name, I'd never heard of him before. Even more curious, Bub was one of Howard's very first roles, as he'd done little or nothing prior. So why the hell did he look so familiar? How could he remind me of anyone if he'd never been in anything? It's a mystery.

After playing Bub, Howard went on to guest star in quite a few genre series on TV.

For example, Howard guest starred in the 1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Suddenly Human, in which he played Captain Endar.

In 1992 he played Lex Luthor in several episodes of Superboy.

Howard took a break from sci-fi in 1993, playing Roy, one of Elaine's many boyfriends on Seinfeld.

In 1994 he played the sinister Dr. Dietz in The Stand TV miniseries. Note that he looks fairly Bub-like here, but somehow I still didn't recognize him.

Howard returned to the Star Trek Universe in 1995, playing the Vulcan Syvar in the Deep Space Nine episode Shakaar.

He also played the Klingon T'Greth in the 2001 Voyager episode Prophecy.

In addition to these roles, Howard put in years on various soap operas, and lately he's been doing a lot of voiceover work in animation and videogames.

I'm still struggling to understand how I remembered Sherman Howard before I saw him in all these roles. Maybe it's some sort of Reverse Recognition— a condition similar to The Mandela Effect. Maybe I'll start up a new syndrome and call it The Canada Effect!

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