Actor Paul Rudd is turning 43 years old today! Over the years Paul has warmed his way into our hearts by making us laugh in so many films. He's got the ability to play quirky, almost cartoon-like characters, and can also be extremely hilarious playing the straight man. A lot of times he relies on his quick timing and sarcastic tone to get laughs.
Rudd is currently playing a recurring role on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" as the man running against Leslie Knope (played by the show's star and co-creator Amy Poehler) in the city council race, Bobby Newport. Newport is a simpleton, running for city council to please his father, who's the most successful businessman in the small town the show is set in. As the show's election grows closer, it's unsure whether Newport will win, but we hope even if he doesn't that he'll be back on "Parks and Rec" often.
The "Knocked Up" actor has a few projects on the horizon, most notably the highly anticipated "Anchorman 2," a sequel to a film that's become a sort of cult classic. Rudd is set to join much of the original cast in the Will Ferrell film, which is slated for a 2013 release.
In honor of Paul's birthday, we thought we'd take a look at some of his funniest film roles.
Brian Fantana in "Anchorman" - Speaking of Ron Burgundy, Rudd's performance in the first "Anchorman" film is considered by many to be their favorite. With a big 1970s-inspired mustache, Paul played the "street reporter" Brian Fantana. What made the film so great was that all of the principle actors, and especially Rudd, were so willing to make themselves look very unintelligent and old fashioned, and Fantana certainly covered both those bases extremely well.
Danny in "Role Models" - What we love about Paul in this film is that he doesn't take on any goofy mannerisms or characterizations. He's just plays a bitter, jaded man in his early-to-mid 30s who isn't all that thrilled with where his life is and he takes it out on everyone around him. The movie perfectly showcased his ability to use nothing more than perfect comedic timing and surgically precise dialogue to get huge laughs.
Chuck in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - There are few others who can take a somewhat played-out character type and make it fresh and funny. That's exactly what Paul did with Chuck, the stoner who happens to teach surfing at the resort in Hawaii that the movie mostly takes place in. Almost every line that Rudd delivers lands a knock-out punch of laughs in this small role. Most particularly, the scene in which he and Jason Segel rescue Russell Brand's character from the surf gives Rudd ample room to stretch his legs and he steals yet another scene.
David in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" - Like in "Role Models," this film allowed Rudd's own natural comedic abilities come through, rather than adding layers of quirkiness. As a man obsessed with a woman who dumped him, he has some really funny moments. His scenes with "Glee" star Jane Lynch in particular are quite funny, since both Rudd and Lynch can play the sarcastically caustic tone to a tee.
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