Ralphie's dad in the classic 1983 film, A Christmas Story, was decidedly less of a dream boat than the dad audiences saw in FOX's TV adaptation on Sunday night. Twitter was immediately ablaze with reactions and people dying to know who plays Ralphie's Dad on A Christmas Story Live. Chris Diamantopoulos was an immediate hit with audiences in the role, and he's likely a familiar face to any avid television enthusiasts.
First and foremost, Diamantopoulos played Brian the cameraman in NBC's The Office. That's right — the one man on the documentary crew who got a little too close to Pam for Jim's (and viewers') comfort. If you're anything like me, this realization will shake you to your core. That's definitely not the actor's only previous project, though. He has also appeared in recurring roles on shows like Silicon Valley, Good Girls Revolt and the television adaptation of About A Boy. He's also a successful voice actor, with voice credits on American Dad, Family Guy and a series of Mickey Mouse shorts, for which he actually received an Emmy nomination, according to Broadway.com.
Diamantopoulos has certainly stirred a new kind of fanbase with this new role on A Christmas Story Live. Fans were quick to take to Twitter and make it clear that they were going gaga over the actor's singing and dancing chops.
And, OK, also over the actor himself. This is the Internet after all.
His stage skills aren't necessarily surprising, though, given his past Broadway experience. Though a majority of viewers may recognize him from his television roles, Diamantopoulos actually has an impressive stage resume as well. According to the same Broadway.com piece, he most recently appeared on Broadway in Waitress opposite star and composer of the show, Sara Bareilles, and previously held roles in Les Miserables and The Full Monty. The success of Waitress was a whirlwind experience, Diamantopoulos said in an interview with Arthur Kade. “I’m still pinching myself to be honest with you," the actor said. “It’s such a special piece and it’s just … this is one of those once in a lifetime things that happened where Sara wrote these music and lyrics for this show and is now stepping into the lead role.”
Waitress, and likely A Christmas Story Live, have been welcome returns to the stage for Diamantopoulos, who said in the same interview that he often finds it difficult to split time between TV and stage productions.
"I’d love to say that [the choice is] always pre-meditated [and] decision based. But early in my career and certainly now you take what opportunity comes to you. I made a concerted decision to stop working on stage about 15 years ago because I really wanted to try my hand at television and film. And it seemed like every time I tried to do it, I would book a theatrical show, which takes up a great deal of your time. And so I kind of quit theater cold turkey as it were, and moved out to LA and was quite miserable for a while until I started working a little more regularly. Before I knew it, more than a decade had passed and I really missed being onstage."
The show was ripe with Broadway veterans, also boasting Jane Krakowski and Matthew Broderick in supporting roles, and the talent was palpable from the very beginning. It's likely not the last viewers will see of Diamantopoulos on either the stage or the small screen. According to his IMDB page, he's got two television shows lined up for 2018, and was also cast as Moe in an untitled Three Stooges sequel. Given the reaction he drummed up with A Christmas Story Live, he'll certainly have plenty of fans keeping an eye on his career.