Christian Stolte’s birthday: Why we love Chicago Fire’s Mouch

Today we’re wishing a happy birthday to Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, and looking back at why we love his character Randall “Mouch” McHolland.

Monday is the birthday of Chicago Fire actor Christian Stolte, who’s better known to fans as Firehouse 51’s resident couch enthusiast, Randall “Mouch” McHolland.

As his nickname indicates, Mouch is a character who’s often used for comic relief. We’ve been able to laugh along with him in a variety of situations in the last five seasons and now into Chicago Fire season 6.

Whether he’s trying to launch a career as a romance novelist (but forgetting that his wife knows a person who can help with that), or offering his observations from the firehouse couch, Mouch has no shortage of entertaining moments.

But as proven by how we all worried sick over him between May and September, Firehouse 51 is not the same without Randall McHolland.

Chalk that up to Christian Stolte, who’s another of the Chicago-based actors whom Chicago Fire has given the spotlight to. He puts so much energy into every situation that Mouch finds himself in, that makes him an almost larger than life character. He’s like that cool uncle who shows up and has some crazy idea or some fun story to tell.

But when it’s time to get serious, Stolte is also able to bring it. Remember the Chicago PD episode “All Cylinders Firing” when Mouch’s wife Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) was the victim of a violent attack? Mouch’s reaction to the news, and the way he tearfully supported his wife, tugged at his heartstrings as much as wondering whether or not he was going to survive that heart attack.

And speaking of the heart attack, Chicago Fire may have played that mostly for laughs in the new season’s premiere, but underneath that there was a very heartfelt sentiment about making the most of life that Christian Stolte delivered perfectly. He had the first big moment of season 6 and maybe even taught us a little something.

In particular, the pairing between Mouch and Trudy is a stroke of genius. That’s because it’s not a typical ship, and it’s not just a ship. The way that Christian Stolte and Amy Morton work together is fantastic, whether it’s in a heartbreaking moment like that PD episode or the hilarity that came up when Trudy confronted Mouch about his writing career on Fire. They’re so great together, and Trudy wouldn’t be the same without Mouch or vice versa.

We’re glad that Chicago Fire didn’t kill off Mouch in the season premiere (even if he technically did die for a few minutes), because we wouldn’t want to think of Firehouse 51 without Mouch’s huge heart and equally big enthusiasm for most things. Happy birthday to Christian Stolte, who has made the character stand out so well over the years, and never fails to put a smile on our faces.

Join us in wishing Christian Stolte a happy birthday in the comments and on Twitter. Then don’t miss him as Mouch in a new Chicago Fire season 6 episode this Thursday.

Chicago Fire airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.