My Favorite Mistake: Paul Rudd

Article excerpt

Byline: Marlow Stern

Paul Rudd on the time he almost killed himself to get a laugh.

Interview by Marlow Stern

When I was 22, a friend and I were on a double date in Santa Monica with these two girls. It started innocently enough. We spent the evening walking around the Third Street Promenade. All of a sudden, this friend, who was into karate, kicked his foot really high up in the air and held it there, acting like it was completely normal, and kept the conversation going with his date.

We proceeded along those lines--to do a dumb move and pretend like we didn't even notice it--and it started out that we were nervous and trying to make our dates laugh. Then we just tried to outdo each other and make the other guy laugh. Each dare got bigger. I had one of those little Jeeps that didn't have doors, so when we were leaving, I was driving, my date was sitting in shotgun, and my friend and his date were in the back seat. I thought it would be funny if I stepped out of the car and ran alongside while keeping up the conversation and pretending that there was nothing abnormal about that.

So, in the middle of this conversation, I just stepped out of the car. …