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Dentists in Movies and on TV

Contributed by Bryan Armetta

On the big screen – and the little screen, too – there are plenty of plot lines featuring MD’s, lawyers, scientists, etc. – but dentists? “Stratching my head here.”

Wait! Hold on! In point of fact, there’s plenty of proof dentists actually do get their 15 minutes – or more – of fame. Here’s Part I of our new feature we call, “I’m Not A Dentist, But I Play One On TV (Or In The Movies)”. Open up and say, “Ah ha!”


Tim Whatley | Seinfeld

Portrayed expertly by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Dr. Tim Whatley is accused by Jerry of converting to Judaism purely for a perceived ability to tell jokes. Upper West Side dentists are outraged, culminating in Jerry receiving the label “anti-dentite”. Take a look…

As a recurring character, Dr. Whatley had plenty of other great moments – most too tawdry to mention here. You can search for him on YouTube!


Hermey the Elf | Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

How could we leave this lovable holiday elf off the list? Toiling away in Santa’s workshop, Hermey dreams of one day becoming a dentist and opening up his own office.

While the other characters in this made-for-TV animated special react with surprise, Hermey remains committed to chasing his dream, even after helping out Rudolph in his quest to save Christmas. In the end, Hermey gets the “OK” from Santa to follow his dream, opening a dental office right there in the North Pole (where office space is much, much cheaper).


Dr. King Schultz | Django Unchained

In Quentin Tarantino’s strange tale of the Old West, a traveling dentist, played by Christoph Waltz, makes his real living off bounty hunting and liberating slaves, such as the titular Django. played by Jamie Foxx. It’s bizarre seeing Dr. Schultz travel the South in a horse-drawn cart topped by a giant, spring-loaded tooth. Here’s a clip…

The cart, incidentally, eventually explodes in a ploy designed to kill off a bunch of dimwitted KKK members. Although he has given up his practice, Dr. Schultz stays a dentist at heart, which makes even more sense given his final showdown with Leonardo DiCaprio’s plantation-owning Calvin Candie.


Orin Scrivello | Little Shop of Horrors

In this classic 1986 musical-comedy, legendary funny man, Steve Martin, plays Orin Scrivello, an egomaniacal leather-clad dentist who truly relishes the act of inflicting pain on his fearful patients. To make matters worse, Orin has a serious addiction to nitrous, especially on the job.

While Orin is a morally reprehensible character, he does get exactly what he deserves in the end (that is, besides losing his membership in the ADA).


Stu Price | The Hangover

in 2009’s R-rated hit, Office cast member, Ed Helms, plays Stu, a square, uptight dentist, brow-beaten by his wife. After a night of Las Vegas mayhem, Stu wakes up married to a stripper he met the night before.

In the sequel, Stu awakens to an even worse fate – a facial tattoo akin to that worn by champion boxer, Mike Tyson, which obviously leads to more confusion and chaotic fun.


Dr. Jerry Robinson | The Bob Newhart Show

In a cast of colorful characters, Dr. Jerry Robinson from the 70’s mega-hit comedy, The Bob Newhart Show, is a standout. Portrayed by actor, Peter Bonerz, Jerry could be described as eccentric, impulsive and very easily frustrated. Jerry always manages to astonish us with his “unique” point of view. His dialogue with sharp-tongued receptionist, Carol, makes for some satisfying comedy.


Well, that’s our first installment of “I’m Not A Dentist, But I Play One On TV (Or In The Movies)”. Stay tuned for more sometime soon!

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