Two of the funniest scripts Paul Rudd has ever read
(Credit: Arturo Pardavila III)


Two of the funniest scripts Paul Rudd has ever read

Paul Rudd has been making viewers cackle with his impeccable comic timing since the 1990s. The Marvel superhero was so charismatic that he could blend in with well-established ensembles like Friends as perfectly as he could play dreamy love interests in teen classics like Clueless.

The 54-year-old has been a part of several comedy films over the years, from The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), I Love You Man (2009), This Is 40 (2012), and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). Rudd had once noted I Love You Man was a particularly enjoyable role for him, “I had a lot of fun working on I Love You, Man. That one was a really fun movie to do, and it was a fun role to play. Awkward, uncomfortable comedy is always fun to do and probably comes a little too naturally to me. At least, the awkward part.” 

However, Rudd told GQ that two of the funniest scripts he has ever read are Adam McKay’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), which was written by McKay and Ferrell, and David Wain’s Wet Hot American Summer (2001), from a screenplay written by Wain and Michael Showalter.

“It’s rare to read a script that is just so fun to read that you wanna re-read it for pleasure. And certainly with comedies. I did that with Wet Hot American Summer, and then I did that again with Anchorman. I thought those were the two funniest scripts.”

Rudd explained how they shared certain similarities, “They were funny for similar reasons, their absurdity and how meta certain things were, and how it was so unlike everything else. Probably why they both had trouble getting made, and the reception was confusion for a lot of people. But Anchorman was one that I just thought, ‘Oh my god, this is the funniest, craziest, most specific story. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, when they write together, it’s just bliss.”

Not one to fret about landing roles, Rudd confessed that he was anxious about hearing back from the creators of Anchorman, which was directed by  McKay in his directorial debut and produced by Rudd’s frequent collaborator Judd Apatow. “It was a while before, I was cast in it. I think I had a few months, and I was just on the phone every few days with my agents going, ‘Have you heard anything? Have you heard anything?’ Which is not normally the way I am, but I was with that.”

Paul Rudd also mentioned how the cast of Anchorman—Ferrell, Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Christina Applegate—met ahead of schedule to rehearse and even improvise some of the scenes. Reflecting on Ferrell and McKay’s SNL backgrounds, Rudd recalled, “I was pleasantly surprised when we started shooting, and then Will might just go off in some direction that I’m not prepared for, or McKay would be behind the monitor yelling out lines.”

You can watch Rudd star in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy now on Netflix.