The Field Guide to Bill Paxton & Bill Pullman
Hello, nature lovers!
Welcome to Man Cave Daily’s Field Guidae to Celebrity Florae and Faunae! You might remember last time we taught you how to tell the difference between those two oft-confused birds, the Breastbreasted Cocky and the Nipple-Butted Gurgler (refresher: the Cocky says kah-TWEEEE-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit! And the Gurgler says ah-DOOSH! ah-DOOSH! ah-DOOSH! yourmotheryourmotheryourmother-faaaaaAAAARRRRK!)
Today, we’re going to tell you how to tell the difference between two of the most confused specimens since the ostrich and emu – Bill Paxton (Gapus Toothii) and Bill Pullman (Suavus Erectus). Discerning between the two is surely one of the great mysteries of the universe, along with “Why doesn’t my dad love me?” and “To whom do these hotpants belong?” (the answer to both questions is “Aunt Karen”). Today, we hope to educate you on the defining characteristics of two men whom Roger Ebert once called “People who exist, that’s for sure.”
Here’s a common letter about the subject that we frequently get regarding the Bills Paxman (which is both the name I came up with for both of them, and not a Jens Lekman collaborator):
Dear Man Cave Daily,
My significant other has left me, and now I feel nothing. The nights are filled with a dull throb; a loneliness that a human can only feel when a person of considerable import is suddenly gone. The time to grieve is not now. Not yet, anyway. All there is is the somber ache of what once was. Anyway, which one is Bill Pullman and which is Bill Paxton? Their names are so similar!
Shattered Dreams in Spokane
Thanks for writing, SDS! Yours is perhaps the most common point of confusion regarding the Bills. As it turns out, most people get all muddled up by the fact that they’re both named “Bill,” their last names both start with “P,” and they can’t be bothered with a 12-second Google search to put their curiosities to rest.
Never fear! Here’s an easy way to remember, based on the name alone, who’s who:
Wait, sorry, just googled it for 12 seconds. Bill Paxton has lots of sex. At least that’s what his television show, Big Love would have you believe! This show was presumably about a very large man in love, or a man who really enjoys the seminal Tom Hanks classic Big. In either case, it’s easy to see just how randy this show probably is or was! This matches up perfectly with the fact that “X” is, by far, the sexiest letter in the alphabet, just barely edging out “J” (see: exciting, excessive sex, X-men, Bill Paxton, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Xenedrine). So, when you think of sex, just think of Bill Paxton. See? Easy as pie. A sexy, sexy pie. (We prefer mince meat. It’s like a flaky, golden brown Fleshlight).
Bill Pullman, on the other hand, has a decidedly less X-driven name, and is therefore significantly less sexy. So how to remember Bill Pullman? Easy. Again, the trick is all in the name: What does the sentence “Bill Pull Man” sound like? Either a haphazard, grammatically incorrect rescue operation, or a tender encounter between two gentlemen (one named Bill) with mutually shared proclivities. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t enjoy a good pull, man? Haha, am I right, fellas?? So when you think about Bill Pullman, please think about sex with a man named Bill.
So now you’ve gotten the names straight. There’s only one problem: “But Brian!” you say, “We knew they had two different names, but you haven’t told us which name belongs to which face!”
Heavens, again with the “Paxton and Pullman” business? Well all right. Here’s an easy way to tell the difference:
Bill Paxton looks like if beef jerky was a man, and Bill Pullman looks like the kind of guy who’s always carrying a briefcase.
And that’s the easiest way to spot these specimens in the wild.
Still struggling? I- ok. Let me just rub my temples for a few minutes and stare out this window sighing while I sip whiskey. For totally unrelated reasons. Back in a jif!
[Some time later]
And we’re back! And boy, I feel better than ever! Let’s keep the Bill Train Rolling down the Lonely Highway of Shattered Comedy Articles, shall we? CHOO CHOO!
Now, both actors are pretty famous for their smattering of movies ranging from “decent enough” to “background hangover noise.” Perhaps the easiest way to identify who’s who is by going through a selected filmography! Then, you’ve just gotta pick out a familiar role, and boom! You’re in Recognitiontown, Population: YOU! Established 2013, the main export is knowing who people are and generally recognizing pop culture references! The main imports are diet pills and fear.
Bill Paxton (selected filmography)
The Last of the Finest
and my personal favorite, The Dark Backward
Bill Pullman (selected filmography)
Home Fires Burning
Going Under (as Capt. Biff Banner!)
Crazy in Love
Cold Feet (as Buck Latham!)
A Man is Mostly Water
There, that should clear things up!
Ok. In retrospect I can see how that last section might have muddied the waters just a bit. But that’s ok! That’s…ok. Maybe a few helpful quotes will right the ship, here.
Now, many of you might remember Bill Paxton as Private Hudson, the loudmouth, twitchy trigger-fingered soldier from Aliens. He’s famous for saying:
“I’m ready, man, check it out. I am the ultimate badass! State of the badass art! You do NOT wanna f*** with me. Check it out! Hey Ripley, don’t worry. Me and my squad of ultimate badasses will protect you! Check it out! Independently targeting particle beam phalanx. Vwap! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart missiles, phase-plasma pulse rifles, RPGs, we got sonic electronic ball breakers! We got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks…”
Et cetera and what have you.
Meanwhile, arguably Bill Pullman’s most famous movie quote is from Independence Day, in which his character, President Whitmore, said:
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
So there you have it. Bill Paxton should remind you of an alien-battling hero and Bill Pullman should remind you of a hero, who battles aliens.
Oh for Pete’s sake.
Let’s Try this Again
Ok, one more time now. Bill PAXTON was in Tombstone, a 1993 movie about WYATT EARP. Bill PULLMAN was in a 1994 movie called Wyatt Earp about- crap dammit hell damn crud NO!
BILL PULLMAN WAS THE ONE IN SPACEBALLS.
HE PLAYED LONE STARR
BILL PAXTON: NOT IN SPACEBALLS.
That should settle it. If it doesn’t, may God have mercy on your soul because Man Cave Daily’s Field Guidae to Florae and Faunae can’t help you anymore. Now, if anyone needs me, I’m going to go wind down by either listening to Bing Crosby or Bill Cosby, whichever record I find first.
Brian Cullen is currently more confused than you are, so he’s going to stick to what he knows: man-crushing on Cory Booker and lady-crushing on Danielle Fishel. Follow him on the twitters @bucketcullen