Way Back When: Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd crept into the pop culture consciousness with roles in ‘Clueless’ and ‘Overnight Delivery’ before making it big with parts in ‘Friends,’ ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ and ‘Wet Hot American Summer.’ In today’s Way Back When, we take a look at some vintage Rudd, circa the early 90s.
Super Nintendo Commercial
In 1991, Rudd starred in this commercial for Super Nintendo. It looks dated and cheesy now, but you know when you saw this thing with all the flashing lights and the giant screen featuring games you were just dying to play, you thought this commercial was straight-up intense. Rudd wears a red shirt and some weird, over-sized suit jacket in a look that’s like if Don Johnson was really into Joy Division. He doesn’t get any lines here, but oh, look at that adorable face.
Toyota Tercel Commercial
The Toyota Tercel was the kind of car a guy you went to high school with probably had as a hand-me-down from his dad but he thought it made him look really cool in that sensible way — like he was the kind of guy who was already investing in Roth IRAs. Rudd stars in this commercial for the car from 1992, in which he plays little slacker brother to an older, more responsible brother who’s some vague business-type — we know this because he wears suits and takes calls from his office and a has a wife. Rudd just wants to borrow his bro’s fancy new Toyota car because he can’t afford a car of his own because he probably still lives with their mom. What a scamp. But more importantly — cars were only $7,000 in 1992?! Not even fair.
Bat Mitzvah DJ
L’chaim, Jewish friends! Around the same time that Rudd was shilling for Toyota and Super Nintendo, he was supplementing his meager income with a gig as a bat mitzvah DJ, helping 13 year old Jewish girls cheat at limbo — and if that wasn’t enough to make you think he was cool, just check out his fashion sense, which is like black tie meets Totino’s pizza roll connoisseur, with his white suit jacket, dude hair, and long black shorts. He can easily transition from fancy cocktails to a round of hackey sack with no effort!
‘Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Meyers’
Rudd spent a few years making made-for-TV movies (of which no clips can be found online — we’re onto you, dude) and had a couple of recurring parts on television shows before he starred in this ‘Halloween’ sequel with Donald Pleasence. Rudd plays a grown-up version of Tommy Doyle, the little kid Jamie Lee Curtis was babysitting in the classic John Carpenter original. Rudd landed this part right before he starred in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’ and ‘Clueless.’ Check out this clip from the movie below, in which Tommy comes face to face with the boogeyman that’s been haunting his dreams since he was a kid. We’re particularly fond of the little face-twitch thing Rudd does at the :25 mark.