‘ER’: David Krumholtz May Have Traumatized Viewers After His Episode Aired

Depending on what someone has seen actor David Krumholtz in, they are likely to have a different view of the veteran actor. Krumholtz, who fans of the Christmas franchise The Santa Clause might recognize as elf Bernard, has a different impact on those who saw him in a guest spot on the hit tv show ER. That spot haunted fans, who grew frightened when they saw the actor on the street. 

Who is David Krumholtz?

David Krumholtz
David Krumholtz | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

While everybody might not know Krumholtz by name, they’ve likely seen his work in some form or another. Beginning with the film Life with Mikey, Krumholtz became a go-to character actor in several comedies early on.

From roles in Addams Family Values to his defining role as Bernard in The Santa Clause and its sequels, Krumholtz was a busy actor popping up everywhere on stage and screen. While Krumholtz specializes in comedy, however, he likes to stretch himself beyond the laughs.

Krumholtz played a funny yet serious Charlie Eppes in the hit CBS series Numb3rs for five years. There, he had to balance his comedic timing with some severe topics. Thankfully for him, he had some experience. While Krumholtz has been a part of several hit franchises, one of his biggest television roles continues to define him for people years later. 

On the long-running ERKrumholtz wasn’t just out of his typical character. He was evil. That role made him a face of terror for those who remembered his arc on the hit medical drama. 

Krumholtz takes a turn

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Used to lighthearted roles in family movies and comedies alike, Krumholtz was looking to broaden his horizons in 2000. When he auditioned for a spot on ER, he may have found this role. 

Speaking to LA Times about the guest arc, Krumholtz recollected the entire roller coaster journey as he thought back to the dark role that some fans grew to know him for. 

When I got the part, I was just really jazzed, because it was an opportunity for me to do something so different than I’d ever been given the chance to do. I guess I surprised a lot of people, including my own family and friends. They didn’t realize I could get that psychotic. (per LA Times)

Psychotic may have been an understatement. Kromholtz’s Paul was not just crazy — he was a murderer who stabbed the beloved Lucy as audiences watched on in horror. It did not take long for this to define Krumholtz going forward. 

The next day, I went out in Burbank, and went shopping in a mall or something. I got recognized at least five or six times from that episode, and people were actually frightened! I couldn’t have been more unassuming to those people that probably were surprised to see that I was short and sweet and smiley. This past summer, CBS sent me on a press tour in Europe for “Numb3rs.” And a good portion — if not most — of the questions European reporters asked me were about that episode of “ER.” (per LA Times)

The guest spot on ER was a turn for Krumholtz. However, the fact that it resonated with people like it did was not a negative.

In fact, it showed that the actor was more than just a laugh or a goofy sidekick. He could stretch his gifts to go to dark places, too. 

Where is Krumholtz now?

Krumholtz remains one of the hardest-working actors in show business. His work on ER didn’t just get him his role on Numb3rs. It helped him get a slew of more dramatic work.

He appeared in two HBO series, The Deuce and The Plot Against America, where he was seamlessly allowed not only to get a laugh or two but dive into the serious content of the roles. Krumholtz’s turn on ER might have been two decades ago, but to this day, it is one of his greatest roles. His career may not have been the same without it.