Paul Rudd Is Awesome

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With Paul Rudd getting his first leading man, superhero Marvel outing this week, here’s a quick overview of his career so far, taking in his big-screen debut, his frequent team-ups with the likes of Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, and a perhaps ill-advised early turn in a horror franchise. It’s okay though: 60 per cent of the time he’s intentionally funny all the time.

Clueless (1995)

There’d been roles on TV (like 20 episodes of NBC’s drama Sisters), but the first time most of us saw Paul Rudd was as Alicia Silverstone’s ultimate love interest in Clueless. Their characters were ex-step-siblings, so it was complicated but it wasn’t incest.

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

Rudd didn’t quite get away with his first movie being a hit and a ‘90s classic, however. There had to be an embarrassment somewhere, and here it is, in the form of Halloween 6. Rudd plays Tommy, the now grown-up kid that Jamie Lee Curtis babysat in 1978.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Rudd played the dickish Andy in this spoof of American teen summer-camp movies. It was a flop at the time, but people like it now. Rudd has signed up to appear in Netflix’s upcoming prequel series.

Anchorman (2004)

And of course, there was Anchorman, in which Rudd plays the aftershave-doused field reporting lothario Brian Fantana. He only breaks out the Sex Panther on special occasions.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

The second of his several movies with Judd Apatow saw Rudd as Steve Carell’s well-meaning friend David. In the clip above he attempts to bequeath his porn collection, which includes Harry Twotter, School Of Cock and Everybody Loves Raymond. Oh no, wait, that last one’s just a good show.

Knocked Up (2007)

Apatow again, and a scene where Rudd and Seth Rogen take mushrooms and discuss hotel furniture and parental responsibility. “My hand tastes like a rainbow!”

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Rudd gets the zen beach guru role, and speaks in ridiculous homilies and non-sequiturs. “I threw my watch away when I moved out here... Yeah, my phone has a clock on it.”

I Love You, Man (2009)

John Hamburg’s bromantic comedy is pretty good, but there’s arguably nothing in it as funny as this promotional interview with Rudd and Jason Segel. Maybe it was the ‘shrooms again.

This Is 40 (2012)

Some blooper reels strain to find anything particularly funny. And then there’s Knocked Up spin-off This Is 40’s, which genuinely indicates that everyone involved – and perhaps particularly Rudd – had a brilliant time.

Prince Avalanche (2013)

Comedy of the more low-key, deadpan variety in David Gordon Green’s indie curio, with Rudd playing an unflattering role that somehow remains sympathetic.

The Simpsons (2011 / 2014)

Rudd “appeared” in Season 22 of The Simpsons as Homer’s “father enrichment class” therapist Dr. Zander. He turned out to be good friends with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Rudd returned for last year’s Season 25 to play himself and Judd Apatow.

Saturday Night Live (2013)

Rudd has made several trips to Saturday Night Live, including this skit as One Direction’s Number One Fan, Dan Charles. “Did you know that Liam is afraid of spoons? Isn’t he the craziest?”

Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2010)

We warn you: there are things in this clip you can’t un-see.