Saturday (June 4) marks the 35th birthday of one T.J. Miller. The stand-up comedian has gained some huge headway in the world of entertainment over the past few years with roles in the likes of “Big Hero 6,” “Deadpool,” and of course, “Silicon Valley.” Now in its third season, Miller’s role as mentor — and landlord — to the Pied Piper gang has delivered some of the HBO series’ most memorable scenes.
For all his faults, and we completely agree he has a lot of them, it’s Bachman’s philosophies on life, brash bravado and balls to the wall attitude on nearly everything that has helped Richard and his start-up crew get out of more than one pickle. We can go on forever about the man’s strengths but instead, let’s narrow things down a bit. Here are 5 examples of how Erlich Bachman is the real hero of “Silicon Valley.”
As with any struggling Internet start-up, there will be growing pains and while things felt like they weren’t proceeding the way the team at Pied Piper wanted them to, Bachman found himself with the opportunity to sell his home. Needless to say, this realtor presented the buyers to Erlich using the wrong choice of words. Before you knew it, he was on office ball chair with carpel tunnel braces on. Sometimes, even Bachman needs a kick in the ego to get put his coding skills to good use.
Protector of Richard
Look, it’s a fair assessment that technical geniuses across the Silicon Valley region have dealt with their share of bullying throughout their formative years. Richard (Thomas Middleditch) is no different and in this unfortunate scene, he let this group of kids get the best of him. Leave it to Bachman to teach Church Candy here a lesson. Not only did he leave Richard alone from here on out, you best believe the crew got all the Adderall they needed.
The vision quest
Every brilliant mind comes with its own unique creative process. Some people explore exercise options while others use doodles and journaling to get themselves to that desired eureka moment. Erlich Bachman, however, takes a more Jim Morrison-style approach to the madness of the tech world. When Richard’s company needed a name, Bachman took it upon himself to pursue a spiritual — drug-fueled — exploration of words to find just the right type of branding for the team to move forward with.
A crafty negotiator
Sometimes it’s not always about a top notch product or genius concept to get investors in the door. In many circumstances, it’s about how you present yourselves in these oft times stressful meetings. Leave it to Erlich Bachman to bring everyone down to size. Negotiating with hostility and rudeness may not always be the proper method in finding a worthy business partner to get your product to market … but sometimes it’s the best — albeit risky — foot forward.
The reluctant genius
In one of the show’s most memorable scenes, the Pied Piper crew found themselves at a dead end the night before their big TechCrunch Disrupt presentation. Erlich’s drive to win everyone in the room over — by physically bringing each man to climax — started as a simple genital joke. However, that middle-out concept spawned a brilliant notion in Richard’s mind. While the group spent hours formulating the proper method in delivering the maximum amount of strokes possible, the company’s new compression software was being born in the other room.
If these examples have not won you over on Erlich Bachman’s tech world fortitude, gaze upon these brilliant five minutes featuring nothing but old man jokes. Enjoy your “tugboats” and “Roman coinage.”