Man of the Year 2005

The Nominees

The Frat Pack followed up a great 2004 with another outstanding year. This year, the members of The Frat Pack made a huge cinematic impact, both at the box office and with critics. Our website also welcomed Jack Black and Steve Carell as formal members of The Frat Pack, and each added unique talents and contributions.

Ben Stiller

Our 2004 Frat Pack Man of the Year started 2005 by ruling the box office with his massively popular sequel Meet the Fockers. By the end of it’s box office run, the movie had grossed $280 million in North American, and over $500 million worldwide. In mid-year, there were rumors of another sequel Meet the Little Focker where see meet Greg and Pam’s child.

Ben returned to public view in April as the host of the Teen Choice Awards, a promotion vehicle for his animated hit, Madagascar. Ben had the lead role in the movie as Alex the Lion and the movie did very well in the early summer. A sequel has been announced for 2008.

Nominated for several MTV Movie Awards, Ben took home the award for Best Villain for his role as White Goodman in Dodgeball. During his acceptance speech, Ben made a political statement by breaking an egg on stage (see photo).

Otherwise, this was a quiet year for Stiller. His wife Christine Taylor gave birth to their second child Quinlin in July. He appeared on the TBS special Earth to America, and filmed a cameo for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, a film he is also producing. Other projects for 2006 are in the works, though none have been formally announced.

Luke Wilson

It was a disappointing year in many ways for Luke Wilson, who saw several of his projects delayed to 2006. Luke, along with brothers Andrew and Owen, attended several film festivals with their quirky comedy The Wendell Baker Story, a film Luke wrote and co-directed. The movie received generally good reviews but the brothers had difficulty finding a distributor for their independently-produced film. Still, the movie had a big impact on the festival circuit, garnering a Shooting Star award for the brothers in Maui and best film at Vail. The movie co-stars Will Ferrell, so it is a potential “Frat Pack” film and is to be released in February 2006.

Luke’s highly-anticipated summer movie entry from director Mike Judge (Office Space) was delayed and necessitated reshooting some scenes. The movie, originally titled 3001 is now called Idiocracy and is expected in the Fall of 2006.

He finished the year with a strong performance in the ensemble holiday comedy The Family Stone. Luke dusted off his stoner persona and was one of the actors most noted with reviewers.

Jack Black

During 2005 we formally welcomed Jack Black as an official member of The Frat Pack. Though to date he hasn’t made a very big impact in Frat Pack films, the other members acknowledge his membership. For example, Will Ferrell appeared at a tsunami benefit where Black’s band Tenacious D was performing. Black also appeared on the TBS Earth to America special with Ferrell and Stiller.

The main reason for raising Black’s Frat Pack status was the positive buzz from his upcoming film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. This movie features a “Frat Pack” cameo from Ben Stiller who is also producing the film. Unlike Envy, this film seems certain to cement Black’s status in the group.

Black spent most of the year filming King Kong for Peter Jackson. Though this film is not a comedy, it did feature one of Jack Black’s few dramatic performances. The movie was a “monster” hit with both critics and audiences and raised Black’s status considerably.

In addition to the Tenacious D movie, look for Nacho Libre, featuring Black as a Mexican priest who turns to wrestling.

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell had another strong year at the box office, though the results were sometimes disappointing to both critics and audiences. He finished the year strongly and set things in motion for a great 2006.

The year started with an interesting but ultimately unsatisfying turn in the Woody Allen drama/comedy Melinda and Melinda. Will played a role that might have been played by Woody in earlier years, as the comedic lead. His best friend in the movie was played by his Anchorman costar Steve Carell. Unfortunately, most found the movie boring and “stagey.”

The highlight of the year for most Ferrell fans was the first of his two summer movies, Kicking & Screaming. Transforming from a milk toast fill-in soccer coach into a caffeine fueled coaching menace, Ferrell scored big laughs. The PG rated family comedy was medium-sized hit and featured several “Frat Pack friends.” The second of Will’s summer movies was Bewitched, costarring Nicole Kidman. This modern take on the 60’s sitcom was a modest hit but also was disappointing critically and failed to live up to box-office expectations. In our opinion, Will was the best thing in the movie and provided a great cameo for Steve Carell.

Wedding Crashers was the big summer comedy and Will’s cameo was a crowd-pleaser in the audiences I saw it with. Frat Pack fans loved Will’s return to R-rated fare, playing wedding and funeral crashing guru Chaz.

Will ended the year in a Golden Globe-nominated performance in the movie-musical The Producers. The role showcased his unique singing and dancing talents. Will treated audiences to his cowbell-playing talents on Saturday Night Live with The Queens of the Stone Age and with Tenacious D at the tsunami benefit.

Will found time to complete his voice-work as the Man in the Yellow Hat in Curious George and writing/producing/starring duties in the NSACAR comedy Talladega Nights, both coming in 2006.

Owen Wilson

Owen only had one film in wide-release this year, but what a film it was! As the romantic lead in the massive hit Wedding Crashers, Owen pleased both men and women with his funny turn as a crasher looking for something more out of life. His chemistry with costar Rachel McAdams provided an unexpected romantic angle to what could have been just another raunchy comedy. Owen also shared screen-time with Will Ferrell in the film.

Wedding Crashers was a huge hit, grossing more than $200 million in North American theatres. Originally signed as the main star of the film, Owen smartly allowed writers to beef up Vince Vaughn’s role and once again Owen showed he is the king of the “buddy comedy.”

Owen shared the love with his brothers Andrew and Luke by appearing at several film festivals to promote The Wendell Baker Story. He ended the year by filming You, Me, and Dupree a film costarring Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon and Michael Douglas. That film comes out this summer.

Vince Vaughn

Vaughn had a gigantic year in 2005, personally and professionally. He opened the year by receiving good notices as a white pimp in Be Cool, launching the first of his many catch-phrases this year, “twinkle twinkle.” Vince was one of the few standouts in this under performing movie.

Vince returned in a small but important role as Brad Pitt’s employer in the big box office hit, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The laughs he provided were so big that producers couldn’t help but spoil his cameo and included him in the movie’s trailer.

Next was Wedding Crashers, a movie that showcased Vince’s motor mouth personality to the fullest. Vaughn was in top form, providing most of the hit comedy’s key catch-phrases and signature laughs. He even traveled to Iraq with the movie to boost morale of the troops.

The Wild West Comedy Show tour showcased Vince’s comedic friends and was the acknowledged party of the year for those who were fortunate enough to attend.

Vaughn finished the year as the star/producer of The Break-Up and “close personal friend” of costar Jennifer Aniston. The couple initially denied rumors of their relationship then seemed issue non-denial non-comments. But Vince and Jen seemed to be together everywhere this year, from Chicago to Malibu to Phoenix (where Vince beat a DUI charge with Jen in the car). The couple finished the year as recipients of “men of the year” from GQ.

And the Winner is… Steve Carell

With Vince Vaughn’s monster year, we can’t believe he is relegated to runner-up status for our award. But based on feedback from The Frat Pack Tribute readers and critical analysis our Frat Pack Man of the Year is Steve Carell.

Steve started the year as a Frat Pack “friend” including a scene-stealing turn in last year’s Anchorman. A brief role alongside Will Ferrell in Melinda & Melinda did nothing to turn heads but his very funny and very “Frat Packish” cameo in Bewitched definitely did. Carell channeled Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur in the movie and it was a standout performance.

Carell officially left The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2005 and took up residence as the Golden Globe-nominated lead in NBC’s version of The Office. The series based on the British show gained steam throughout the year and was met with critical and increasing audience appeal. The show starts 2006 in a prime location on Thursday nights.

Of course, the highlight of Carell’s year was sleeper hit The 40 Year-Old Virgin. The movie starred Carell in the title role, and he served as a co-writer along with director Judd Apatow (a writer/producer of several Frat Pack projects). The movie smartly avoided direct “Frat Pack” cameos but with similar comedic sensibility knowingly acknowledged the connection with direct references to Luke Wilson and Jack Black. The movie, along with Wedding Crashers was heralded in Hollywood as the “return of the R-rated comedy.” The movie opened well and had strong legs, grossing over $100 million in North America. The movie also garnered near-universally positive reviews and made many critics’ top ten lists at year-end.

Carell then famously pledged The Frat Pack with a crowd-pleasing musical number “I’m One of Those Guys Now” while hosting Saturday Night Live in September. With the success of Virgin the comedic peers Carell chose to compare himself to weren’t Sandler, Carrey, or Rock but Stiller, Vaughn, Black, Ferrell, and Wilson — The Frat Pack. Carell is most definitely one of those guys, now.

For these reasons, Steve Carell is our Frat Pack Man of the Year. Congratulations!

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