When Stephen Tobolowsky arrived at the South Dakota Public Broadcasting studio last week, he entered dancing and singing "If I were a rich man..." from Fiddler on the Roof.
The lanky actor whose bald head and kindly face is immediately familiar is accustomed to stealing the scene. He's unforgettable as insurance salesman Ned Ryerson in the movie Groundhog Day. He's had roles in around 200 movies, including Memento, Mississippi Burning, Bird on a Wire, and Thelma and Louise. And he's been in a hundred or so TV or Netflix shows, including Californication, Deadwood, The Goldbergs, and the new version of One Day at a Time.
He often plays a comedic role, but there's a serious side to him.
Tobolowsky returned to his Jewish roots as an older adult and threw himself into studying and following tradition. Part of this reflection has included principles of science and math.
The actor, author, musician, and podcast host recently made a few stops in South Dakota, promoting his latest book, My Adventures with God, and serving as a special guest at the Aberdeen Film Festival. Traveling with him was actress Ann Hearn, his wife and the mother of his two grown sons.
Last Tuesday Tobolowsky gave a talk at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, and the following morning stopped in at SDPB's studio, where he had a long talk with Victoria Wicks about science, faith, and the beauteous nature of the unknown.