It's not like Gerry Bednob was unknown before ''The 40 Year Old Virgin.''
He was a successful touring standup comedian, a winner on ''Star Search'' and had landed a few small television roles, playing Babu's friend on an episode of ''Seinfeld'' and the maharishi who presided over the marriage of Kevin Arnold's older sister Karen (to future ''Friend'' David Schwimmer) on ''The Wonder Years.''
But playing Steve Carell's Best Buy coworker in the 2005 comedy hit changed everything for Bednob.
''It has been a game changer,'' Bednob said during a telephone interview from Las Vegas. ''Instead of having to audition, I've been offered roles. It definitely put me in a very comfortable position.''
Since then Bednob has appeared in such films as ''Zack and Miri Make a Porno,'' ''Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,'' ''Witless Protection,'' ''The Five Year Engagement'' and about 20 other features and short films. He's also had recurring roles on FX's ''Wilfred'' and VH1's ''Free Radio.''
Bednob hasn't abandoned standup comedy; he just has less time for it and less interest in being on the road. But he's coming to Sharon, Pa., for a show Saturday at Tully's to work with Sharon native Bob Golub.
When you go
WHO: Comedians Bob Golub and Gerry Bednob
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Tully's, 101 Chestnut St., Sharon, Pa.
HOW MUCH: $25
''I'm really looking forward to seeing Bob's country,'' he said.
The two have been friends for about 30 years when both were struggling comics in Los Angeles. Bednob, who was born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, got his start doing standup in Toronto, but he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
''I wanted to hopefully get into sitcoms,'' he said. 'That was everyone's ambition, and any comic who tells you it isn't, they're bull----."
One of the other comics Bednob worked with in the '80s was Judd Apatow, who stopped performing and became a writer-director. He gave Bednob a recurring role on his short-lived television series ''Undeclared'' and remembered his friend when casting his feature directing debut, ''The 40 Year Old Virgin.''
Bednob's ability to improvise helped to expand his character's role and created some memorable scenes, such as when he offers Carell's character tips on what to do when he loses his virginity.
''The sex advice I was giving him, 70 percent of it was improvised,'' Bednob said. ''I was just throwing in some things. He (Apatow) kept saying, 'Keep going.' I had no idea what I was saying.''
It clearly made an impression. Bednob has gotten used to fans - and the occasional heckler - quoting those lines back to him.
''Some of the fans remember the lines more than I do,'' he said. ''They are quoting my lines verbatim, which I can't do myself right now. That's a good sign, I guess.''
Many of the folks who come to see him live because of his acting roles aren't expecting the polished, standup set the comedy veteran delivers.
''Standup is where I feel more comfortable because I have full control.''
But he will continue to act, although he would like to expand his repertoire beyond comedy roles.
''I'd really like to do drama more than comedy. I'm sort of typecast as an angry guy. I wish I'd get a nice mellow dramatic part. I don't even look at comedies. My favorite movies are dramas - 'The Godfather' one and two are definitely my favorite movies. 'Shawshank Redemption,' the one Bob (Golub) was in, 'GoodFellas.' I like almost all of Scorsese's movies as a matter of fact. He's my favorite director.''