Famous Alumnae: Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd was obviously the ultimate frat star. I mean, just look at that composite photo. That long and luxurious almost-a-mullet hair, those “hey girl, wanna go to semi formal” eyes, that gaze that says danger, if that doesn’t say coolest guy on campus, I don’t know what does. It was the 80’s, and that hair was the kind only the most rad guy in your pledge class could grow. That hair meant that he wouldn’t go bald before graduation. The ability to grow that kind of hair in college is like being the guy who can grow the perfect full beard. It demands respect, but he’s still totally chill. Basically, he runs this place with that hair. And everyone knows it.


Paul Rudd, before growing up to have the world’s best 80’s mullet and stealing the hearts of every girl on campus, was born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1969 to his United Kingdom-native parents, Michael and Gloria Rudd. His family moved to Kansas when he was 10, and moved around a little bit during his teen years due to his dad’s job. He went to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and majored in theatre. During his short time at the University of Kansas, Paul was a Sigma Nu, and by looking at that composite, had an awesome time and probably got a ton of girls, because, again, that hair.


While in college, however, the hair got him into a little girl trouble. Actually, he and his Ant-Man costar Jon Hamm, also from Kansas, liked the same girl. A problem for the two of them, but definitely not for her. Paul was a college freshman at the time and Jon was a high school junior, and they were both competing for a girl named Sarah. To impress her, Paul and Jon would show off what they knew in rounds of Trivial Pursuit. Thinking that since he was a big smart college guy, Paul expected it to be a foolproof plan to get the girl. It was already enough to show off that luscious mane, but he could easily seal the deal showing off what was underneath that glorious coif. Unfortunately, the plan kind of backfired. Not only was Jon Hamm smart, but he was smarter than Paul. In almost every subject, Jon took home the win. Paul recalled that he really hated him not only because of the girl, but because he was making him feel, well, really really stupid. He even remembers going out of his way to start reading atlases after a particularly brutal round of geography. But, seeing as how Paul married his now-wife Julie Yaeger in 2003 and Jon married Jennifer Westfeldt in 1997, Sarah probably ended up with some guy with mediocre hair because, come on, you just can’t top that.


After his college and frat days were over, Paul took his acting career much more seriously by going to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts West in Los Angeles, California. During his years studying acting, he also spent 3 months in Oxford, United Kingdom studying Jacobean drama (which is a time period of plays themed around revenge and was a good time for Shakespeare) at the British American Drama Academy. He got his first acting role in 1992 for the television drama Sisters, and starred in several episodes of Wild Oats in 1994. In 1995, Paul left Sisters to film the hit classic rom-com Clueless (don’t act like you’ve never seen it, bro) which really helped launch his career. He had cut the hair by this point, sadly.



Now 47, Paul Rudd has had a pretty impressive acting career following his frat days. He’s been in a lot of new classic comedy movies, such as Wet Hot American Summer, Knocked Up, Role Models, I Love You, Man, Dinner For Schmucks, Our Idiot Brother, and the ultimate classic that will go down in history as one of the funniest movies of all time, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Not only has he been in some really good movies, Paul also had a recurring role in the show all frat bros secretly binge watch on Netflix but would never admit it, Friends. He played Mike Hannigan, Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend whom she marries in the last season. But, if you’re a secret Friends fan, you totally already knew that and you’re reminiscing on the episode when he goes all the way to Barbados because, even though he’s afraid of commitment and marriage, he can’t let Phoebe marry another guy because he truly loves her, and stops the engagement, proving that true love overcomes any fear…. Or, you know, something girly like that. He was also in a show that’s easier to admit to your bros that you binge-watched over Christmas break last year, NBC's Parks & Recreation. Paul starred as Bobby Newport, the rich (and not at all educated on the issues) heir to a candy company who runs against HBIC Leslie Knope for a seat on the Pawnee City Council, and ultimately loses to Leslie. Sorry, Paul, but we would vote for Leslie Knope, too.

I think we can all agree that Paul Rudd is a total frat star, and his movies have inspired a lot of your function costumes. I mean, what would you dress up as for your Netflix and Chill function if not characters from Anchorman? How would your girlfriend put her yellow plaid blazer to use if not to make you dress up as Josh while she dresses up as Cher from Clueless (a movie she totally made you watch, by the way)? Currently, Paul Rudd is living with his wife Julie and their two kids. And, like a real bro, Paul is still a die-hard fan of his home team, the Kansas City Royals, and is frequently seen at Royals games with his family, as well as the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. Stay true to your team, always. That’s totally frat. Keep rockin, Paul.




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