CATEGORIES Movie NewsIsn't Paul Rudd the greatest? He's one of those rare actors who appeals to both men and women alike. The ladies first fell for him back in the '90s, when he played Cher's delightfully sarcastic/irresistible stepbrother Josh in Clueless. Guys followed suit in 2004, when he won them over as the sleazy cad Brian Fantana in Anchorman.
This month, you can catch Rudd on the big screen once again in the highly anticipated new Judd Apatow flick, This is 40. The movie serves as a follow-up of sorts to the 2007 hit Knocked Up, and reunites him with Apatow's real-life wife and kids, Leslie Mann and Maude and Iris Apatow.
Instead of serving as background characters to Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, Rudd and Mann take center stage this time around as a middle-age couple struggling with challenges like expanding waistlines, dwindling sex drives, financial strains, aging parents and a moody teenager. In spite of the heavy themes, there are plenty of laughs, particularly when Rudd is interacting with hilarious supporting actors like Chris O'Dowd and Melissa McCarthy, who both co-starred in the Apatow-produced hit Bridesmaids. Frequent Rudd collaborator Jason Segel has some standout scenes, too, with Mann, O'Dowd and Megan Fox.
Watching Rudd shine on the big screen once again got me thinking about all of the amazing stuff he's done over the years. He's starred in several cult classics, from Wet Hot American Summer to Anchorman, and he's popped up on some of the best TV shows of the past decade, including Veronica Mars, Reno 911 and Parks & Recreation. He's consistently funny, whether he's playing a hapless schmuck or a raging douchebag.
With that in mind, I decided to honor Rudd with a list of the top 10 reasons I love him.
1. He made the Canadian tuxedo (jeans with a jean jacket, for the uninitiated) look damn good in Wet Hot American Summer. Plus his epic sloppy kiss scene with Elizabeth Banks takes the cake for the grossest big screen liplock since Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly tongue wrestled in Dumb and Dumber. 2. Lusting after your stepbrother didn't seem quite so wrong after watching Josh and Cher (Rudd and Alicia Silverstone) fall in love in Clueless. After all, family or not, who could resist Rudd's adorable smile and unique brand of self-deprecating humor? (OK, it's still a little creepy.)
3. In I Love You, Man, Rudd proved once again that he's not afraid to dive into super awkward kissing scenes. His hilarious kiss misunderstanding with Reno 911's Thomas Lennon is one of the funniest scenes in a very funny movie.
4. Speaking of I Love You, Man, Rudd's ongoing bromance with Jason Segel has resulted in a pretty dynamite comedic duo. If you didn't get enough of them in Man, check out the amazing video on Funny or Die called Jason Segel & Paul Rudd Meet Rush, where their characters from the flick meet the Holy Triumvirate. And yes, Rudd says 'slappin' the bass.' How could he not?
5. In Our Idiot Brother, Rudd demonstrated that he can play a hapless dummy just as well as the buttoned-up go-getter roles he often takes on. Plus his bond with the adorable golden retriever named Willie Nelson made our hearts melt. Awwww.
6. Even though he's a bona fide movie star, Rudd is never too busy (or too good) to do guest spots with his pals on under-the-radar shows like Reno 911. Rudd had a great recurring role as Guy, Deputy Wiegel's super handsy Lamaze coach.
7. Nice guy Rudd doesn't play a sleazebag a lot, but when he does it's awesome. Case in point: his role as douchey newsman Brian Fantana in Anchorman. Rudd delivered some of the flick's best lines (aside from Ron Burgundy, of course), which have even been immortalized in t-shirts. Our fave? This musing about his potent musk called Sex Panther: "60% of the time, it works every time."
8. Just when we thought we couldn't love Rudd any more, he popped up on one of the best comedies on TV right now: Parks & Recreation. He's hilarious in his recurring role as Leslie Knope's sweet but incredibly stupid political rival Bobby Newport (of the Sweetums candy dynasty).
9. He put on his 'asshole' cap once again to play the pervy washed-up rocker Desmond Fellows (of the fictional 90s band My Pretty Pony) for a memorable episode of Veronica Mars. We're not sure what was more awesome: his wigs, his singing or his skinny-dipping scene. This just might be our favorite Rudd guest spot ever.
10. That said, his cameo in 'Paul Rudd's Computer' on Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! is pretty legendary. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it now. Rudd plays 'himself' watching his various dance alter egos Celery Man, Oyster and Tayne busting funky moves like the 'Flarhgunnstow' on his super '80s computer. (Did we mention his computer talks to him?)
Did I miss any? Let me know.