Of the modern Hollywood comedians, Paul Rudd stands out as the funniest and most likeable star in a cast that includes the likes of Seth Rogen, Aziz Ansari, Jonah Hill and Rebel Wilson. With an impressive charm that breaks the seal of industry artifice, Rudd has made a name for himself as one of the most affable celebrities in the whole of cinema.
Rising to fame with the coming of age classic Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy and Stacey Dash, Rudd later found a home in the comedies of David Wain, frequently collaborating with the filmmaker, most notably in the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer. Later picked up by Netflix for an exclusive series, this American spoof comedy became a cult classic shortly after its release at the turn of the new century.
Rudd later entered the mainstream as a regular talk show guest and pertinent comedy star, reaching the heights of Hollywood when he was cast as Ant-Man, Marvel’s most peculiar action hero. Continuing to charm and entertain audiences, we thought we’d take a look back at his top five funniest roles to date.
Paul Rudd’s five funniest roles:
5. Ant-Man (Peyton Reed, 2015)
Originally directed and penned by Edgar Wright, this significant Marvel outing could’ve been something of a comedy classic had the Shaun of the Dead director stuck, though Disney had too little trust in the influential filmmaker. As it is, Paul Rudd brings a great dose of comedy to one of the Marvel universe’s most exciting and original films, Ant-Man may not feature his most hilarious role, but it is certainly one of his greatest.
Starring in a sequel in 2018 as well as various other Avengers films, Rudd has established himself as a major star of the franchise.
4. They Came Together (David Wain, 2014)
Flying under the radar upon its release in 2014, They Came Together by David Wain is a spoof comedy that takes aim at the monotony of rom-coms, starring Rudd and Amy Poehler in the two lead roles. Frequently hilarious, Wain’s spoof can be a little hit and miss, though usually hits the mark thanks to the comedic timing and enduring charm of Rudd, fueling the film from the frontline.
An underappreciated modern comedy, Wain’s film also features the likes of Cobie Smulders, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, Jack McBrayer, Randall Park and Kenan Thompson.
3. Wet Hot American Summer (David Wain, 2001)
Once again part of an impressive ensemble cast, Rudd stands out from the crowd as Andy, an immature and obnoxious boyfriend of Katie (Marguerite Moreau) in the film that follows the comedy hijinks that occur during an American summer camp. Becoming a cultural staple of western comedy, Rudd helped to bring this obscure, silly comedy into the mainstream and make it a pertinent hit.
Providing a springboard for several other celebrities including Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Showalter, Ken Marino and Amy Poehler, Wet Hot American Summer remains a classic.
2. I Love You, Man (John Hamburg, 2009)
An underappreciated, genuinely sweet, romantic comedy, I Love You, Man features Paul Rudd in one of his most hilarious roles, as well as one of his best. Starring alongside Jason Segal, the 2009 film follows a man’s relationship with his best friend that puts a subsequent strain on the close bond between him and his wife. Silly, sweet and charming, John Hamburg’s film hits all the right notes.
Rudd loves an ensemble cast and this 2009 film is no different, working with the likes of Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons, Aziz Ansari, Andy Samberg and Jon Favreau.
1. Role Models (David Wain, 2008)
No doubt, the finest moments of Paul Rudd’s celebrated career have come in the 2008 comedy classic Role Models where the actor shines in a cast that includes Seann William Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino and Ken Jeong. Packed with hilarious moments, Rudd shares the stage with several other comedians throughout the film but emerges as the most likeable star by the end.
Though appreciated in the cultural mainstream, we think Role Models could do with even more love, there’s truly no end to the film’s staggering hilarity and admitted dimwittedness.