David Duchovny's 5 Best TV Roles That Weren't The X-Files' Fox Mulder

You know David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder from the popular 1990s science-fiction conspiracy nut house The X-Files, but get a load of this fact: Duchovny has actually played other roles on television, too! You'll see him warped back to the totally trippy era of the 1960s this Thursday on NBC's Aquarius as someone who isn't named Fox Mulder, and to get you in the mindset of imagining Duchovny as someone other than his iconic role, I've put together this list of Duchovny's other best TV parts. 


David Duchovny as Hank Moody in Californication

(Warning: this video contains explicit language about intense love-making.)


Hank Moody, Duchovny's second-most well-known television role, was a shallow and temperamental writer who often found himself underneath beautiful women, which was somewhat ironic given that Duchovny admitted to a real-life sex addiction just before Season 2 of Californication started. Dave played this role for a whopping 84 episodes, which is a lot considering each season of the raunchy Showtime comedy ran 12 episodes. (That's seven seasons, so stop straining the math part of your brain.) It's still not even half of the 176 episodes he did of The X-Files, though. 


David Duchovny as Denise/Dennis Bryson in Twin Peaks


Before he was finding the truth out there, Duchovny found the truth within as a cross-dressing federal agent in the spooky and weird Twin Peaks. Dennis Bryson was an old colleague of Dale Cooper's, but after an undercover operation that involved wearing women's clothes, Bryson decided to keep 'em on and go by Denise. In the Twin Peaks DVD extras, Duchovny said that the role was originally written for James Spader. 


David Duchovny as David Duchovny in Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist

Duchovny was always game to make fun of himself just so people like you could laugh. And even though he could have been meeting the president of the United States or maybe even get voted in as president of the United States because of his popularity as Mulder in 1998, he played a bumbling version of himself in the squiggly Comedy Central cartoon Dr. Katz. Why? Because David Duchovny is awesome, that's why.


David Duchovny as Jake Winters in Red Shoe Diaries


Before Duchovny was Showtime's horny Hank Moody, he was Showtime's horny Jake Winters in the softcore porn anthology Red Shoe Diaries. Winters never got any action himself on the show (as far as I know, and I consider myself one of the foremost experts on RSD), because he was a weird pervert who put out an ad soliciting erotic letters from women describing how they got action. For some reason, Jake always took his dog with him to read these letters on empty train tracks. Dude, can't you just get your perverse jollies without bringing your dog into this?


David Duchovny as David Duchovny in The Larry Sanders Show


In his greatest television role ever (yes, better than Mulder), David Duchovny played a possibly gay version of himself who had a thing for Larry Sanders (Garry Shandling) in HBO's cult classic comedy. Again, this was near the height of his career and sex symbol status, but he couldn't help but play against what you would expect. 

What's your favorite David Duchovny role? And don't say Fox Mulder!


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Jun 11, 2015
Ira Kane, in possibly the best movie of all times, Evolution!
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May 29, 2015
He's in one of my favorite rom-coms, Return to Me, written and directed by Bonnie Hunt. And he had a very funny guest appearance on Bonnie's show, Life With Bonnie, as Johnny Volcano, a guest on her morning talk show.
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May 28, 2015
Oh, please. Anyone who really had watched Red Shoe Diaries would know Jake got it on with Kate, a rich photographer played by Sheryl Lee. How you managed to forget the incredibly hot scenes in that episode is beyond me, except to think you never watched it.
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May 28, 2015
Moody of course. Motherfucker!
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May 28, 2015
"Dont say motherfucker like that, it makes me miss you!"
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May 28, 2015
Oh I love Dr. Katz! Also, Dave Dove (my nickname for Duchovny) is just a great guy. Fun fact: he was considered for the role of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.
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May 28, 2015
I still think he would have made a(nother) perfect Ian Malcom in Jurassic Park (had Goldblum not nailed it himself, obviously). Really, a horny scientist who swaggers like a rock star? Perfect for Duchovny.
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Jun 12, 2015
Wow, that's such an interesting idea!! As you said, Goldblum knocked it out of the park. :) Still, Duchovny would have, too! And that's a major compliment from me. I LOVE Jeff Goldblum.
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May 28, 2015
Only Tim Surette could say David Duchovny's best TV role is playing a fictionalised version of himself in Larry Sanders.... Only you Tim, Only You...

To the rest of the world - David will forever be remembered as one of the greatest characters in TV history - Hank Moody - just kidding - obviously Fox Mulder... you're an idiot to think otherwise
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May 28, 2015
I loved when he hosted Saturday Night Live. He was so funny, especially in the skit when he's obsessed with Mango.

I know this is about his TV roles but I have to add that I love his small role in Zoolander. And he was very funny in Evolution. It wasn't the best movie but it had lots of funny moments. He and Orlando Jones had good chemistry in that movie.
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May 28, 2015
There's really interesting work in his early films. The ones he did with Henry Jaglom stand out, as well as The Rapture, one of those great early-90's indies, this one about fundamentalism and its toll on people's psyches. Worth a look, as the commentary on the DVD is worth a listen.
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May 28, 2015
Before I clicked on the link, I said that if Red Shoe Diaries wasn't on the list, it wasn't a list worth reading. Well played.
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May 28, 2015
If you exclude Mulder, including all the other appearances as Mulder, there's not a whole lot left.
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May 28, 2015
Spader being up for Denise Bryson is interesting. I don't think he's ever played a role that was trans or completely homosexual either.
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May 28, 2015
I thought so, too. That was back when he was still very pretty, as well, so it would be interesting to see how he'd have looked in the role, apart from how he'd play it.
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May 28, 2015
Moody, even if I could include Mulder.
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May 28, 2015
save for perhaps twin peaks there's no comparison. all this does is point out how very few tv roles he's had. mulder before DD got visibly tired of the x-files is the best of DD at least on TV. that didn't stop me from watching every last episode of californication and trying to enjoy it of course.
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May 28, 2015
Californication & X-Files!!
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May 28, 2015
does it have to be TV, I was watching Evolution over the weekend, still an enjoyable, even if goofy, movie.
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May 28, 2015
He was great in The Rapture.
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May 28, 2015
This list is a bit of a stretch, mostly since 2/5 of the list was him just playing himself, and also because this was practically the only TV work he's done other than Mulder on X-Files; I think if you look really hard you might find 3-4 other TV credits, but many of those were still uncredited background characters anyways.
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May 27, 2015
For me... Californication ruined Duchovny for ever... it murder Mulder!. :P
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May 27, 2015
How could you guys leave out the hand model in Zoolander?
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May 27, 2015
wait, nevermind. TV roles.
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May 28, 2015
But he was brilliant
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May 27, 2015
Twin Peaks for the win.
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May 27, 2015
You forgot the quintessence of Duchovny's work, the most major thing he has ever done... his part in Working Girl :-)
Seriously, very cool hiatus stuff, love Duchovny, love Mulder, love this Tim.
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May 27, 2015
he did very nice non-tv work too, like The Television Set . Cool film.
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May 27, 2015
Hank Moody is my hero.
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Jun 02, 2015
wise words.... mothafuckaaa
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May 27, 2015
Yours, so many others'... this is why women don't give up the butt anymore.
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May 27, 2015
how did u found 5 shows?

i only remember him from X-Files and Californication and ofc some movies in between. Before X-Files i think he was a erotic movie actor just like Gillian was. Not sure if Gillian was porn actress xD

Still both are amazing actors and i cant wait for the reboot ;)

And ofc Aquarius will be a good way to see David before X-Files come and as for Gillian she`s busy with the amazing The Fall and will be appearing more often in Hannibal :D
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May 27, 2015
Ha, I love The Larry Sanders Show. Duchovny was great on it.
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May 27, 2015
As a dude born in 93 I will always identify him as Hank Moody!
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May 27, 2015
yes, for me, born 10 years before he will always be Fox Mulder, hell i didnt even knew his name until the internet comes, for me he was Mulder and thats done. It was worst with scully, even now i have problems remembering her real name, but scully is easy ;)
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May 27, 2015
Yeah, Gillian Anderson she's a great actor :) Brilliant in Bleak House, The Last King of Scotland and currently Hannibal and The Fall.
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May 28, 2015
Yeah! I used to prefer Duchovny but clearly Anderson is a much better actor!
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May 27, 2015
Can't we just all agree that David Duchovny didn't do anything good except the x-files? (ok, Twin Peaks, but that was just David Lynch using/abusing him)
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May 31, 2015
No, we can't - because it's not true.
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May 27, 2015
You missed Handsome Alvin in Space Above and Beyond. Great un-credited appearence.
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May 27, 2015
With the creepy eye contacts, very Last Action Hero Charles Dance of him.
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May 27, 2015
I like Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.

Funny stuff.
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May 27, 2015
Does David Duchovny's portrayal of Fox Mulder in The Simpsons count as a non-Mulder answer? Because him playing a satirical version of his character was great, especially whenever he flashes his FBI badge.
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May 27, 2015
I remember watching Red Shoe Diaries about 15 years ago...because DD was in it and I'm pretty sure there were one or two eps where he DID get some action...:))
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