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Top 10 Paul Rudd Performances

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Sixty percent of the time, he’ll make you laugh every time! This low-key actor always manages to bring laughs to whatever project he’s in! He has also managed to appear in some of the best comedies ever made, playing everything from the straight character, to memorably random parts and outrageous over the top roles. Join as we count down our top 10 favorite Paul Rudd performances.

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Top10 Paul Rudd Performances

Sixty percent of the time, he’ll make you laugh every time. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite PaulRudd performances.

#10 – Chuck/Kunu: “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008)

Kicking off our list is Rudd’s scene-stealing cameo as a stoner surf instructor named Chuck… Sorry, Kunu. In his brief time on-screen, he consoles Jason Segel’s conflicted character. And by that we mean he confuses the hell outta him with his laid-back worldview. This role suitsRudd to a tee: he’s absent-minded, full of non-sequiturs and mega cocky. What’s that old saying there, Chuck?

#9 – Danny Donahue: “Role Models” (2008)

Deadpan sarcasm, much? Thanks to his efforts as an actor and writer, this film is anything but a cookie-cutter comedy: beside Seann William Scott, Ruddplays an irresponsible energy drink salesmen who gives not-so-helpful advice to some teens, and yadda yadda yadda they’re sentenced to community service as Big Brothers. This role lets Rudd’s trademark wit and sullen hostility shine through, while also proving he’s an excellent LARPer.

#8 – Mike Hannigan: “Friends” (2002-2004)

Say what you will about “Friends” in its later seasons, but there was one distinctly good part, and that was Paul Rudd. He plays the guy who’s finally weird enough to keep up with Phoebe: they’re perfectly matched thanks to their oddball sensibilities and love of music. He’s not so much with the dirty talk, but he’s such a good pianist, he doesn’t even need a keyboard.

#7 – Pete: “Knocked Up” (2007)

Rudd’s supporting role in this movie was so successful, it spawned the spin-off “This is 40.” But more than anything, Rudd’s part in “Knocked Up” gives us the chance to see him move seamlessly from some iffy Robert De Niro and Doc Brown impressions to some life questions. Rudd’s relatability and borderline shattered performance makes him the perfect everyman.

#6 – Ned Rochlin: “Our Idiot Brother” (2011)

As a bearded hippie who can’t get his life together, Rudd wins over audiences with his carefree charm. He truly inhabits this role with his perpetual honesty, upbeat nature and unyielding optimism – plus a pair of Crocs. It seems a little too easy for Rudd to play a guy with no commonsense, but he does manage to give us a memorable film simpleton who never becomes a cliché.

#5 – Andy: “Wet Hot American Summer” (2001)

We love watching Paul Rudd be a dick. Even to kids. In this send-up of ‘80s summer camp flicks, Rudd is an egotistical douche lifeguard who doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He’s irresponsible, continually mutters his innermost thoughts at random, and radically changes his mind at a moment’s notice. Somehow, he keeps getting chicks like Elizabeth Banks, but she learns the hard way that he’s a total ass.

#4 – Peter Klaven: “I Love You Man” (2009)

You know what Paul Rudd’s secret is? He’s a huge geek, and that’s what makes this performance work. He’s a real estate agent with no guy friends who gets caught up in a bro-mance that actually jeopardizes his relationship. The chemistry between Rudd and Jason Segel is genuine, as is their shared love of Rush. Is the film touching with a dash of awkward? Totes McGotes. But that’s why we dig it.

#3 – David: “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)

On the surface, this guy is another Paul Rudd everyman character. But, look closer and he’s full-blown nutty, and no one could play that as effectively as Rudd. He starts off as one of Steve Carell’s normal co-workers, but steadily pokes holes in his calm persona until he’s headed towards a nervous breakdown and a vow of celibacy. Bonus: it’s impossible not to enjoy his screen time with Seth Rogen.

#2 – Josh Lucas: “Clueless” (1995)

With his second-ever film role, Rudd scored some major points with the ladies and helped preserve a time-capsule of the ‘90s. As Cher’s handsome yet smug ex-stepbrother, he spends most of the film judging her shallow, pop-culture-based worldview. But of course he does a 180 and becomes Mr. Right. It was his breakout role, at least the first time around, and once you get past the incest he’s just adorable. And so young!

#1 – Brian Fantana: “Anchorman” (2004)

Taking the top spot on our list is Rudd’s performance as the stylish member of the group. Rudd wears that moustache like a champ, is crazy sexist, but still tempts the ladies with help from a very special cologne. Easily his funniest, most memorable and most quotable role, the Bri-man re-energized Rudd’s career. So what if he doesn’t know what love is? We love him anyway.

Do you agree with our list? Which Paul Rudd performance kept you in stitches? For more great top ten lists, be sure to subscribe to

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