Frontrunners for Frat Pack Man of the Year

Thursday, December 15, 2011
By Kevin Crossman
Jason Bateman, Jonah Hill, Owen Wilson, Jason Segel

Jason Bateman, Jonah Hill, Owen Wilson, Jason Segel

Every year, we award the Frat Pack Man of the Year for the person who had the best year overall in the Frat Pack universe. At times this has been to someone central to the Pack (Ben Stiller, 2004), and other times it is for a person related to the pack in some way (Judd Apatow, 2007). With so many of the core Frat Pack stars on hiatus this year or seen in projects that were not successful or regarded, we will most likely pick someone outside the Pack this year.

Some of the editors here have been thinking about this and there are a few candidates who stand out as potential winners. First up is Jason Segel who had a big and very very funny supporting role in the raunchy summer comedy Bad Teacher. Segel also pulled The Muppets franchise out of obscurity with a very well regarded and moderately successful box office hit as well. Some of us were expected better awards recognition for the film or even some of the songs, yet the film and Segel have been shut out to date.

Contrast with Jonah Hill who changed literally before our eyes. And, no, we’re not talking about Hill’s oft-mentioned weight loss (more on that later). Instead, we’re seeing someone who was not known at all for “serious” acting and is now a front-runner for an Oscar nomination for Moneyball. Hill also top-lined his first movie this year, the seriously R-rated The Sitter (not a big hit, however). Meanwhile, Hill also got his animated series Allen Gregory launched at Fox with a plum timeslot behind The Simpsons. The fate of the show is somewhat in limbo, however.  Meanwhile, Hill filmed is his own passion project, 21 Jump Street, for release next year (a film that demanded Hill have the physique of a cop).

Someone who was getting big buzz this summer before The Change-Up fizzed at the box office was Jason Bateman. The frequent Frat Pack collaborator led the ensemble hit Horrible Bosses and also had a pivotal role in the alien comedy Paul. While Paul and The Change-Up weren’t big hits, anyone who has seen them would say Bateman stretched himself as an actor in at least a couple directions. That “growth” plus a big hit could make him the Man of the Year.

Lastly, there is Owen Wilson. It’s been an up-and-down year for the Frat Pack star. He stayed within the male-centered comedy mold with Hall Pass (raunchy) and The Big Year (tame), both opposite recognizable costars. But both films didn’t perform well at the box office, and maybe had worse reviews. Even Wilson’s voice work in Cars 2 was overshadowed by Larry the Cable Guy and a spy theme that took Wilson’s character out of the movie for long portions. And that film was acknowledged as Pixar’s worst.  On the other hand, Wilson toplined Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. That film became Allen’s biggest box office hit ever, and Wilson received great reviews and a Golden Globe nomination.

What do you think, Frat fans?  Given recent developments, it seems Hill’s stock is rising and Segel’s is dropping. In fact, these two tweets from earlier today tell you everything you need to know about this dynamic. So sad for Segel…

Have an opinion and a basis for who you think should be Frat Pack Man of the Year? If so, leave a comment below.

11 Responses to “Frontrunners for Frat Pack Man of the Year”

  1. Alex

    What about Kristen Wiig!? She wrote and starred in the huge hit Bridesmaids, continues to be hilarious on SNL and had a large, funny supporting role in Paul.

    In my opinion, none of the listed frontrunners here have had a good year in comparison to their own past successes. If I had to pick of these four, I’d say Segel, but mainly for his great role on How I Met Your Mother.

  2. Vlad

    Well, Kristen isn’t a man… although she has had a great year, so I would still consider her. If not her, I would probably go for Jonah out of these, I’ve been impressed with his ‘Moneyball’ appraisals.

  3. Dale

    I think Jason Bateman deserves to be named Frat Pack Man of The Year, he was hilarious in the 3 of the movies he made this year. Owen was excellent in Midnight in Paris but Cars 2 wasn’t so good and neither was The Big Year.But as Alex said , What about Kristen Wiig? She did great in Bridesmaids , her first starring role and the movie was a Box Office Hit , and her role in Paul was also really good.

  4. sandra

    Owen Wilson Owen Wilson Owen Wilson Owen Wilson

  5. Bonnie

    Out of the “original” Frat Pack, Owen is the clear winner.

    But this isn’t about the Frat Pack anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time.

    Personally I think the title should clearly be changed if it will include other members because it’s no longer Frat Pack Man of the year.

    I know this argument comes up all the time, but still it’s a relevant one and will continue to come up until this changes. These other guys are Judd’s guys and they need their own award. Trying to compare and put them in the same category as the Frat Pack is like making Lady Gaga a member of the Rat Pack. These new guys are the next generation, the next imitation of what once was. But they need their own place in history. Either kill off the Frat Pack so people can remember what was and create a new group or make up your mind what group is going to be supported. But they shouldn’t be meshed IMO b/c it lessens the impact the real Frat Pack had on comedies in the 90’s and 2000’s.


  6. Dale

    Seth Rogen!!! Kung Fu panda 2 , Paul , The Green Hornet , Take This Waltz , 50/50 , A cameo in The League and Fight for your right Revisited , this was a great year for him

  7. Rod

    I think that they should be “meshed” in. It’s kinda like a society, if you’re consider part of it, then everyone knows you’re a funny dude.

    Otherwise people might think you’re part of Sandler’s group. jk on that last part

  8. Argyle

    I’d say either Seth Rogen or Kristen Wiig should win. They both did a lot better projects than these 4 frontunners.

    And what about Emma Stone. She may not have done a bunch of comedies, but did really well in the Help, Crazy, Stupid Love, had a funny cameo in Friends with Benefits, and hosted SNL. She should at least get an honorable mention

  9. Kevin Crossman

    I agree with you, Argyle, about Emma Stone. If I was going to pick someone further out of the core of the Frat Pack and was looking to pick a woman it would be Stone, not Wiig.

    I appreciate the comments everyone. This site has been focused on “Traditional Frat Pack and Team Apatow” for a number of years but we have a brand and a domain name so the name of the site isn’t going to change. In any case, with Bateman and Hill especially they have worked with many Frat Pack members over the years (and not just in Apatow productions) or in the case of Hill with very close-to-members like John C. Reilly.

    But, I see the point about Owen too. Please keep the feedback coming.

  10. Argyle

    Why isn’t Seth Rogen get a better look at with Paul and 50/50? Both were really great movies and he continues to stretch himself as an actor.

  11. Tom

    To me there is no doubt Bateman is the man of the year he was a huge part of my two favorite movies Horrible Bosses and The Change Up.


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