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Jason Segel Bio: From How I Met Your Mother To The Five-Year Engagement

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Jason Segel was born January 18th, 1980 in Los Angeles, California. He made it big in entertainment thanks to landing a role on the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother", where he played Marshall Eriksen, the easy-going best friend of the show’s central character. This 6"4 gentle giant then appeared in major film comedies, working along side the likes of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, leading a successful career in both television and film, before spearheading the long-awaited return of The Muppets. Join as we explore the life and career of Jason Segel.

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Jason Segel Profile: From How I Met Your Mother To The Five-Year Engagement

This gentle giant can play neurotic, but he’s best served with a side of Muppet. Welcome to, and today we’ll be exploring the life and career of Jason Segel.

Jason Jordan Segel was born January 18th, 1980 in Los Angeles, California. Because of his towering 6’4” frame, many of Segel’s earliest interests revolved around sports, as well as making music. It was after high school that his curiosity in acting began, and this prompted him to appear in a few community plays.

By 1998, Segel landed his debut movie role, as a vodka watermelon-wielding partier in “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Unfortunately, his funniest scene was cut from the feature, and he continued taking minor roles in other teen comedies, like “Dead Man on Campus” and “SLC Punk!”

His first important part came on the small screen: in 1999 he began his stint on the beloved, yet short-lived NBC comedy drama series “Freaks and Geeks.” He played the friendly and mild-mannered pothead Nick who was kicked off the school basketball team for weed possession.

Despite the fact the show was cancelled after only 18 episodes, it gave Segel a solid footing in the industry and allowed him to showcase his musical talent. During the series, he forged a friendship with cast mate Seth Rogen, and started a romantic relationship with co-star Linda Cardellini, whom he continued to date for a few years after the show ended. Perhaps the most important bond he made was with producer Judd Apatow, and that connection served him well later in his career.

Segel then transitioned to recurring TV roles, including a spot on another Apatow production, “Undeclared,” and a few episodes of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” In 2002, he managed a starring role in the film “Slackers” as one of three friends who cheat their way through college, only to get blackmailed by a nerd who demands they hook him up with his dream girl.

Segel’s reputation as a small-time actor transformed in 2005 when he landed a spot on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” He made a name for himself by playing Marshall Eriksen, who was the easy-going best friend of the show’s central character, Ted. He won the part thanks to the creators’ love of “Freaks and Geeks.”

While starring on that show full-time, Segel reconnected with Apatow and Rogen for the 2007 comedy “Knocked Up.” His hilarious performance as one of Rogen’s friends led to a starring role the next year. In “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” he played a man who dealt with the breakup of his long term relationship by taking a vacation, but ended up at the same resort as his ex and her new rock star boyfriend. Not only did Segel star in this Apatow co-production, he also co-wrote the script and some of the music featured in the film.

He then played opposite Paul Rudd in the well-received bro-mance comedy “I Love You Man,” and voiced the nemesis of Steve Carell’s character in the animated feature “Despicable Me.” He also co-created the music for the “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” sequel “Get Him to the Greek,” and played Horatio to Jack Black’s Gulliver in 2010’s “Gulliver’s Travels.” He then portrayed the nice guy to Cameron Diaz’s “Bad Teacher” the next year.

But, it was another 2011 movie that really made a splash: that year, Segel spearheaded the long-awaited return of “The Muppets” to the big screen by co-writing, executive producing and starring in the project. In fact, it was Segel who originally pitched the idea of a Muppet revival to Disney in order to bring these beloved Jim Henson creations to a younger generation. The movie became the most highly praised of all the Muppet films, and was the first to win an Academy Award.

He followed that success by starring as the title character in the indie comedy “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” the rom-com “The Five-Year Engagement,” and another Apatow production, “This Is Forty.”

By juggling success in both television and film, the multi-talented Jason Segel has transcended cult status to entertain huge audiences from both sides of the camera. It seems certain that his terrific and unique sense of humor will continue to entertain us for years to come.

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