Jason Segel

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Jason Segel
Jason Segel Sundance 2017.jpg
Segel in 2017
Jason Jordan Segel

(1980-01-18) January 18, 1980 (age 43)
EducationHarvard-Westlake School
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1998–present
PartnerAlexis Mixter (2013–2021)

Jason Jordan Segel (/ˈsɡəl/ SEE-gəl; born January 18, 1980) is an American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for his role as Marshall Eriksen in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, as well as his work with director and producer Judd Apatow on the television series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, and for the critically successful comedies in which he has starred, written, and produced.

Segel has starred in many films, including Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), I Love You, Man (2009), Despicable Me (2010), Bad Teacher (2011), Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011), The Muppets (2011), The Five-Year Engagement (2012), This Is 40 (2012), Sex Tape (2014), The Discovery (2017), and Our Friend (2019). His performance as the late author David Foster Wallace in the 2015 film The End of the Tour was met with critical acclaim, earning him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

In 2023, he began starring as a therapist in the comedy drama series Shrinking, which he also co-created alongside Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein.

Early life[edit]

Segel was born on January 18, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, to Jillian (née Jordan; born 1952) and Alvin Segel, a lawyer.[1][2][3][4] He grew up in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood.[5] He has an older brother, Adam,[1][6] and a younger sister, Alison.[7]

Segel's father is Jewish,[8][9][10] whereas his mother is of English, Scottish, Irish, and French descent.[11] He has stated that he was raised Jewish,[12] as well as "a little bit of everything".[13] Segel went to Hebrew school and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony, and also attended St. Matthew's Parish School, a private Episcopal school.[9][14][15]

Following elementary school and middle school, Segel completed his high school studies at Harvard-Westlake School, where his 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) frame helped him as an active member of the 1996 and 1997 CIF state champion boys' basketball team.[16][17] He won a slam dunk contest in high school[18] and he was nicknamed "Dr. Dunk."[19] He was a backup to the team's star center, Jason Collins, who went on to play in the NBA.[16]


A man holds a microphone as he speaks
Segel at the Austin premiere of I Love You, Man in 2009

Segel's first major role was as stoner "freak" Nick Andopolis on the critically acclaimed but short-lived 1999 NBC comedy-drama series Freaks and Geeks. The series revolved around a group of suburban Detroit high school students circa 1980. Segel personally composed a song for his character, Nick, to sing to the lead female character, Lindsay (Linda Cardellini).[20]

Segel had recurring roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Neil Jansen and on Undeclared as Eric. He played Marshall Eriksen on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother; he had previously stated he would move on to other projects in 2013 when his contract expired,[21] but was convinced to finish the series after its ninth season in 2014.[22]

Segel made his film debut with Can't Hardly Wait in 1998. His other early feature film appearances include Slackers, SLC Punk!, The Good Humor Man, and Dead Man on Campus. In 2007, he appeared in Knocked Up, directed by Freaks and Geeks producer Judd Apatow. Segel starred in the lead role of 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a film he wrote and Apatow produced with Shauna Robertson for Universal Pictures. He also starred in I Love You, Man, which was released on March 20, 2009, by DreamWorks.[23]

In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Segel's character writes a "Dracula" musical performed by puppets. He also appeared in the most prominent scene containing full frontal nudity in the film.[24] In an interview,[25] he stated that the Dracula musical with puppets, as well as being broken up with while naked, were real experiences he wrote into the movie. Those cloth creatures were custom-made by the Jim Henson Company, and the experience emboldened Segel to pitch his concept for a Muppets movie.[26] Segel performed a song from the film, "Dracula's Lament", on the 1000th episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.[27]

A man smiles as he waves
Segel at the Australian premiere of The Muppets in Sydney in 2011

For the 2010 comedy Get Him to the Greek, Segel co-wrote most of the soundtrack's music which was performed by the fictional celebrity singer, Aldous Snow, including Infant Sorrow. He also appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and sang an original song entitled "Wonky Eyed Girl".[28]

In 2010, he voiced Gru's arch-rival Vector in the Universal's CGI animated film, Despicable Me and appeared as "Horatio" in a fantasy comedy film Gulliver's Travels directed by Rob Letterman and very loosely based on Part One of the 18th-century novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift. Segel appeared in Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, which opened in June 2011. He played gym teacher and thwarted suitor Russell Gettis.[29] Along with Nicholas Stoller, Segel approached Disney in 2007 to write the latest Muppets film. Disney was unsure on how to take the request, as Segel had just done frontal nudity in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but after realizing that he was a fan, the project was approved. Segel stated that he wanted to do the film because the last film in the series to be released in theaters was Muppets from Space in 1999, and he felt that the younger generation was missing out on enjoying one of his childhood favorites.[30]

Segel decided not to star in the sequel to The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted.[31] He filmed The Five-Year Engagement, with Emily Blunt, in spring 2011, in Michigan, and the film was released on April 27, 2012.[32]

In 2013, Segel revealed he was working on a series of young adult novels, based on a story he conceived when he was 21.[33] In the fall of 2014, the first novel of the series Nightmares!, co-written with Kirsten Miller, was released, with the followup coming out the following year.[34][35]

In 2015, Segel received praise[36][37][38] for his portrayal of the late author David Foster Wallace in the independent biographical drama film The End of the Tour. For his performance, he earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead.[39]

In 2017, Segel and Miller released their first young adult novel, Otherworld. A second book in the series, OtherEarth, was released in 2018, and a third novel, OtherLife, in 2019. Segel created and starred in the American drama television series Dispatches from Elsewhere, which premiered on March 1, 2020, on AMC.

In 2019, Segel starred in Our Friend based on Matthew Teague's 2015 essay "The Friend".[40]

Personal life[edit]

Segel is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.[41] He performed a wedding ceremony on The Tonight Show on July 6, 2010, for a couple that solicited his services by placing pictures of him around his home town and the bar he frequently visited.[42]

Segel dated his Freaks and Geeks co-star Linda Cardellini for several years following the show's cancellation.[43] He dated Michelle Williams from 2012 to 2013.[44] From December 2013 to April 2021, Segel dated photographer Alexis Mixter.[45][46]


Segel, Neil Patrick Harris and Joss Whedon in 2011


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Can't Hardly Wait Matt
1998 Dead Man on Campus Kyle
1998 SLC Punk! Mike
2002 Slackers Sam Schechter
2003 11:14 Leon (Paramedic #1)
2003 Certainly Not a Fairytale Leo
2004 LolliLove Jason
2005 The Good Humor Man Smelly Bob
2006 Bye Bye Benjamin Theodore Everest
2006 Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Frat Boy Deleted scenes
2007 Knocked Up Jason
2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Peter Bretter Also writer
2009 I Love You, Man Sydney Fife
2010 Get Him to the Greek Based on characters created by him.
2010 Despicable Me Victor "Vector" Perkins (voice)
2010 Gulliver's Travels Horatio
2011 Bad Teacher Russell Gettis
2011 Friends with Benefits Brice Uncredited cameo
2011 Jeff, Who Lives at Home Jeff Thompkins
2011 The Muppets Gary Also writer and executive producer
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Tom Solomon Also writer and executive producer
2012 This Is 40 Jason
2013 This Is the End Himself Uncredited cameo
2014 Sex Tape Jay Hargrove Also writer and executive producer
2015 The End of the Tour David Foster Wallace
2017 The Discovery Will Harbor
2018 Come Sunday Henry
2019 Our Friend[47] Dane Faucheux
2022 The Sky Is Everywhere[48] Big Walker
2022 Windfall[49] Nobody Also story writer and producer


Year Title Role Notes
1999–2000 Freaks and Geeks Nick Andopolis Main role; 18 episodes
2001 North Hollywood Unaired pilot[50]
2001–2002 Undeclared Eric 7 episodes
2004 Harry Green and Eugene Eugene Green Unaired pilot[51]
2004–2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Neil Jansen 3 episodes
2005 Alias Sam Hauser Episode: "The Road Home"
2005–2014 How I Met Your Mother Marshall Eriksen Main role; 208 episodes
2009 Family Guy Marshall Eriksen (voice) Episode: "Peter's Progress"
2011 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Jason Segel/Florence and the Machine"
2020 Dispatches from Elsewhere Peter 10 episodes; also creator, writer, director, and executive producer
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride[52] Fezzik Episode: "Chapter Two: The Shrieking Eels"
2022 Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty Paul Westhead 7 episodes
2023 Shrinking[53] Jimmy Laird Main role; also creator, writer, and executive producer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Award Category Result
2000 Freaks and Geeks 21st Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series: Young Ensemble Nominated
2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall MTV Movie Award Best WTF Moment Nominated
2008 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Breakout Male Nominated
2011 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2011 The Muppets Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Critics Choice Award for Best Song (shared with Amy Adams and Bret McKenzie) Won
2011 Georgia Film Critics Association Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2011 8th SLGFCA Awards Best Adapted Screenplay (shared with Nicholas Stoller) Nominated
2015 Sex Tape 35th Golden Raspberry Awards[54] Worst Screen Combo (share with Cameron Diaz) Nominated
2015 Worst Screenplay (share with Kate Angelo, Nicholas Stoller) Nominated
2015 The End of the Tour Seattle International Film Festival Best Actor 3rd Place
2015 Indiana Film Journalist Association Award Best Actor Runner-up
2015 Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Nominated
2015 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Actor Nominated
2015 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Nominated


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    |...attending Christian school during the day and Hebrew school at night. "At Christian school you're the Jewish kid, and at Hebrew school you're the Christian kid. I think that's the nature of groups," he said. "And so everyone wants to compartmentalize people. And I think I decided at that point, like OK, its me versus the world, kind of."
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External links[edit]