Spotlight on the Stars: Jason Segel

Jason Segel
For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at a clear comedic A-lister, though for some the heights of his success might come as a bit of a surprise. It’s comedy leading man Jason Segel, a writer as well as an actor who has managed to consistently do amusing work both on the big and small screens. He’s appealed to the CBS crowd on How I Met Your Mother, the raunchy movie crowd with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, and more, along with also showing he can be kid friendly with The Muppets. He’s had hits everywhere, so he’s certainly an A-lister in my book.

Segel is one of the more successful alumni from the Judd Apatow group of actors/writers/directors that took over Hollywood after getting their starts on television with Freaks and Geeks as well as Undeclared. He became a star with the combination of a juicy supporting part in Knocked Up, which led to him getting his own leading role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, along with the break out hit that was How I Met Your Mother on TV. From then on, he’s gotten to be in studio comedies like Bad Teacher and I Love You, Man, while also having the opportunity to resurrect The Muppets in his own vision, which both honored the original and brought them into the present day.

I’m not sure how many people really are aware of his writing talent, but I’d argue that he probably should have an Academy Award nomination by now. His script for the now classic Forgetting Sarah Marshall is nearly perfect. Factor in terrific work on The Muppets as well as The Five Year Engagement and it’s clear that he’s a multitalented guy, to say the least.

This weekend, Segel again co-writes and stars in a raunchy comedy…this time the movie Sex Tape. While it’s not on the level of Forgetting Sarah Marshall or The Five Year Engagement, he’s still capable of mining laughter from uncomfortable situations, as well as shamelessly using his body for humor. Sex Tape continues his evolution into an A lister on the comedy circuit. Perhaps one day he’ll make the full pivot to drama like Jim Carrey before him, but for now he’s content to rule with laughter, with the exception of his upcoming film The End of the Tour, where he plays the late author David Foster Wallace. Perhaps that’ll be the one that gets him some notice from awards bodies? If he’s good enough, I’ll certainly be pulling for him. He’s never really gone full drama before, with the closest being the indie dramedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home. I’m very curious about this one, since it could potentially push Segel even further into the A-list.

Overall, Segel is one of the funniest guys in Hollywood and one of the more underrated comedic talents in the business as well. He doesn’t have the stature of fellow Apatow buddy Seth Rogen right now, but that’s only a matter of time. He’s done so much, and still has so much more that he can do in the future. I greatly look forward to watching his career continue to evolve, especially if The End of the Tour is a winner. The sky is the limit for him, I truly believe that…

Stay tuned for another look at an A-lister next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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