December 20, 2017

Actor, Theatre UAB grad Noah Holcomb is PetSmart pitchman

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If a PetSmart commercial has crossed your screen in recent weeks, you may recognize actor, all-around funny and entertaining person, and University of Alabama at Birmingham alumnus Noah Holcomb.

Holcomb is a 2011 graduate of the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre, where he performed in Theatre UAB plays ranging from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.” A native of Empire, Holcomb now lives in Los Angeles.

Holcomb’s first audition with PetSmart was pretty simple: Just go in and act like an employee. He and other actors in the commercial did not have lines. A week later, he was called again to do another commercial.

“And it’s funny, actually. As I was leaving the set, I saw all the producers together and said, ‘Hey, guys! Thanks again. If you ever do a character like Flo from Progressive, just hit me up,’ and they were like ‘Hah! OK, we’ll do that,’” Holcomb said. “A few months later, they called again and asked me to film a few more. I was like, ‘I can’t believe that worked!’”

The dogs he works with seem to have really taken a liking to him, as shown by their unrestrained delight in the commercials.“The dogs just lick my face a ton. We’re not always actively trying to make that happen, though we want stuff like that on camera, obviously,” Holcomb said. “They just do that on their own free will. I love animals, and I’ve had a ton of different kinds of pets in the past, so it’s a blast to get to work with them. They’re all super well-trained too, which is pretty amazing to watch.”

Even the cats are very well-trained, “though you can tell they’re big divas about it,” Holcomb joked.

He has filmed 13 commercials with PetSmart in 2017, and has been asked to film more in 2018, “which is nice to know I’ll have work,” he said with a laugh. He does not yet get a PetSmart discount, and “they still won’t give me a puppy, despite my constant nagging.” 

In addition to the commercials he has done, Holcomb also performs a lot with his comedy improv team, Some Kinda Monster, which has a recurring show at The Clubhouse.

“I also make a lot of comedy sketches, make music and draw,” Holcomb said. “I just love all the arts and want to do a little bit with all of them, you know? Play in a band, make a comic or a web series. Of course, I’ve always wanted to be on a comedic television show or film. I love character acting, and would flip out if I ever got to be a recurring weirdo on a sit-com or something.”

Holcomb has fond memories of his time at UAB.

“I miss UAB,” he said. “I loved being there. I’m a huge fan of all of the teachers and faculty. They’re all such good, brilliant people who made a difference in my life.”His advice for young actors coming up in the program is to have fun and be nice to people.

“That’s the kind of person people want to work with,” he said. 

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