Photo/Video: Seth Rogen/Universal Pictures/Hollywood Insider YouTube Channel
Seth Rogen is a comedy legend. He is a member of the VIP club in the realm of comedy gods. There are very few movies or TV shows he has starred in that don’t qualify as comedy gold. He hit the ground running starring in the classic sitcom Freaks and Geeks at the tender age of seventeen, and since then he has climbed his way up to the top of comedy Mt. Olympus by being hilarious, having moxie, and maybe bribing the guards at comedy Mt. Olympus with a little weed.
Here are the 32 facts on Seth Rogen:
#1- He’s a true canook.
Rogen was born in British-Columbia, Canada. He shares a birth country with Ryan Reynolds, curling, and bacon that’s not really bacon. (Canadian bacon is just thick ham. Sorry not sorry.)
#2- He has made references to his Canadian heritage in movies throughout his career.
Maybe Rogen misses the land where I sincerely hope that traffic is regularly stopped to make way for moose flash mobs because he constantly sneaks in mentions of the Great White North in his movies. The most famous of which is in Superbad when McLovin is asked his address and he says 13th and Granville. Granville is a major road in Vancouver.
#3- He began doing stand-up at camp.
Rogen became known as a funny guy from an early age. He began perfecting his comedy skills when he performed stand-up at Camp Miriam back when he was a kid.
#4- He paid homage to the camp where he learned to be funny.
In Funny People, Rogen’s character references Camp Miriam. It was a sweet little nod to the camp where he first performed stand-up.
#5- He wanted a career in comedy from an early age.
Nowadays, every kid who puts on Sausage Party when they have a particularly lenient babysitter dreams he was in Seth Rogen’s shoes. Seth Rogen felt the same way when he was a kid. “As soon as I realized you could be funny as a job, that was the job I wanted.”
#6- What was Rogen joking about at such a young age?
Rogen’s comedy career officially started at age 12 when he enrolled in a stand-up workshop taught by Mark Pooley. In those days, he made jokes about his Bar Mitzvah, his grandparents, and his camp counselors.
#7- Canadians suck with guessing age.
I realize this is a weird stereotype that no one on earth but me believes, but both Rogen and I have had experiences that prove it to be true. When I went to Canada at age 19, waiters at restaurants kept handing me kids menus for kids ages 12 and under. I thought it was just because I was so damn adorable, but Seth Rogen had similar experiences when he was performing stand-up back in Canada. When he was a teen, audience members thought he was in his twenties.
#8- He got an early start on one of his defining works.
The first draft for Superbad was written when Rogen was thirteen. By that age, Mozart had already composed his first symphony and Edmund Thomas Clint had painted his first masterpiece, but I suppose drafting your first stoner comedy is just as good.
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#9- It makes sense that a 13-year-old wrote Superbad.
There are approximately 1.6 curse words uttered per minute in the movie. This all makes sense when put into the context that the script was written by a pubescent Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
#10- People haven’t always been confident in his ability to act in stoner comedies.
Since Pineapple Express, Rogen has cemented himself as a legend in the world of stoner comedies. But people didn’t always see him that way. He auditioned for the lead role in the stoner classic Dude, Where’s My Car?, but was passed up for the role.
#11- He was the youngest of the four main cast members on the set of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
In The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, the four most important characters are all supposed to be around the same age (meaning 40). However, at the time of filming, Seth Rogen was only 22 while Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and Romany Malco were all closer to the right age for their roles.
#12- The greatest scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, nay, any movie ever, was improvised.
The “You know how I know you’re gay?” scene was just Paul Rudd and Rogen riffing off each other. The dialogue was completely unscripted.
#13- Speaking of brilliant improvised scenes in The 40-Year-Old Virgin…
Steve Carell really got his chest waxed while filming that amazing scene in the spa. So the exclamation “KELLY CLARKSON!!!” was 100% genuine and perfectly illustrates the emotions of one getting his chest waxed for the first time. How Rogen, Rudd, and Malco avoided cringing and puking while filming that scene is something I will never understand.
#14- Loose translations.
In Portugal, the expression “knocked up” doesn’t exist. But Rogen’s 2007 movie had to be advertised under some name in the country. The film’s Portuguese title translates to “Bloody Bad Luck.”
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#15- He was a very promising young actor.
In 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked him on their “30 under 30” list.
#16- He originally wanted to play Saul in Pineapple Express.
Who could blame Rogen for wanting to take on the role of a less competent Walter White? Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, during the table read, Rogen saw that James Franco would be perfect playing Saul. Rogen instead took the role of Dale.
#17- He hand-rolled every joint in Pineapple express.
This perhaps shows how much cooch authenticity was needed on that set. I have heard from my sources that rolling a joint is pretty hard to screw up, but clearly, Rogen wanted perfection.
#18- 50/50 was based on the story of a real cancer patient.
50/50 tackles the most serious subject in any of Rogen’s movies. It’s about a cancer patient with a 50/50 chance of survival. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a comedy. It just has a slightly more intense subject matter than a movie about a bunch of grocery items getting antsy. The story of Adam in the movie is based on the story of screenwriter and producer Will Reiser.
#19- More Canada references!
On Kyle’s car license plate in 50/50 it says YVR-515. This is a reference to the Vancouver airport which is abbreviated to YVR.
#20- He made his dog a star
Towards the end of This is the End, Rogen’s character (a fictionalized version of Rogen) holds an adorable little puppy. That dog was Rogen’s real-life cocker spaniel named Zelda.
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#21- This is the End almost had a Hogwarts alum in the cast!
#22- This is the End dialogue was mostly unscripted.
Around 85% of This is the End is improvised, meaning the majority of the movie was made up on the spot.
#23- Everyone loved the baby in Neighbors.
Rogen’s character’s baby in Neighbors was played by two twin babies named Zoey and Elise Vargas. The cast and crew got so attached to the babies that everyone showed up on their last day of shooting to say goodbye.
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#24- Rogen maintains his title as “improv king.”
The scene in Neighbors in which Zac Efron’s character and Rogen’s character banter shirtless outside of an Abercrombie and Fitch was improvised.
#25- Zelda’s an old reliable.
We talked about Rogen’s adorable pooch Zelda earlier. Well, the hard-working dog also made an appearance in The Interview as grown-up Kim Jong-Un the dog. Tip for new dog owners, try not to name your puppy after the dictator you’re about to assassinate.
#26- Even though he played Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs, Rogen had no clue who the tech whiz was when he accepted the role.
Come on Seth, even I know about Steve Wozniak. Granted, I only know of him because of The Big Bang Theory… but I still know.
#27- Names are hard.
#28- ‘Twas the night before Labor Day.
The Night Before was partially filmed in the middle of summer even though it takes place during the holidays. This meant that the cast had to wear wool Christmas sweaters in summer weather, and a good amount of scenes were filmed outdoors.
#29- Sausage Party is the highest-grossing R-rated animated film ever made.
I know, in general, a mouthful of an honor tends to seem like less of an honor. There are only a handful of adult animated films that have been made in the past century. But let’s be clear, it was no small feat. Sausage Party dethroned South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut for the title.
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#30- Eminem’s a Rogen fan.
So much so that he references Rogen’s works in the songs “Ballin’ Uncontrollably” and “Brainless”
Rogen found it challenging to work with Franco as a director because he refused to break character as Tommy Wiseau. For those who have heard Wiseau’s accent, you can imagine how irritating that would get.
#32- The Vancouver Aquarium named an octopus after him.
It’s the greatest achievement Rogen could ever accomplish. Sure he won a couple of MTV Awards and his name is on some of the greatest comedy classics of the millennia, but no honor will ever be as great as when the Vancouver Aquarium named an octopus after him. Rogen will always have Cephalopod (Ceph) Rogen to look back on and think, “I’ve done well in life.”
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Carrie Fishbane is obsessed with all things comedy and loves to reflect on the impact of comedy on the world. Having spent thousands of hours studying literature, she also writes about the political impact of entertainment and the power movies and TV have to create social change. Hollywood Insider promotes ethics and substance in entertainment, which is exactly in line with Carrie’s perspective. Carrie’s favorite movies include Jojo Rabbit, Deadpool, and Inception and her favorite shows are Rick and Morty, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and The Office.