This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Jonah Hill’s weight, an unexpected inspiration for think pieces.

Jonah Hill’s weight, an unexpected inspiration for think pieces. (photo)

Posted by on

What are the ethics of enabling unhealthy behavior if it enriches your financial bottom line? It’s a question that was raised, in passing, by Lil Wayne doc “The Carter,” and it comes to mind when reading pieces about — of all things — Jonah Hill being fat. Let’s not mince words here: in the three years since “Superbad,” Hill (along with Kevin James) has been using his girth as a prop, as the key to his persona. To be Hill is to wave one’s arms, roll with the punches and navigate the world in a different way from most screen stars.

So what does it mean when you get a weird think piece like Leah Rozen’s over at The Wrap, which tries to locate Hill in a lineage of portly comic stars? Rozen suggests he’s neither “the wild and crazy guy” nor any other “fat man default modes,” but “an average, even sweet fellow, often a little insecure, trying to get by.” “In more recent decades, stars who traded on their size for laughs include John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley — all of whom, sadly, died well before their time,” she notes.

Similarly, what does it mean to read a rebuttal-ish post from Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere complaining that Hill’s size gets in the way of his performance? (Gets in the way. Heh.) “Hill is running down a Las Vegas hotel hallway with Russell Brand and it’s hard not to think ‘Jesus, he’s gonna need oxygen if he doesn’t slow down,'” Wells muses.

06042010_grown.jpgWhat’s missing from both these pieces is the acknowledgment that Hill (and the more famous Kevin James) embody the average multiplex-dweller better than all of our toned, groomed and thin stars. Jeffrey Wells finds it odd that Hill’s weight is “never once commented on” in “Get Him To The Greek,” but there’s nothing weird about that at all. That’s the reality: when you have a country where a third of people are obese or overweight, who would notice?

The true surprise is that there aren’t more actors like this: people claim to want glitz and glamor, but casting an obese guy is like a small validation of self. Hill’s weight isn’t a prop or tool: it’s just the way it is.

That means grouping him in with all those other portly comedians is pointless for any other than health reasons — reviewing him can start to feel like an excuse to chide, berate and hope for his improved health, the critic as doctor. And who asked for that?

[Photos: “Get Him to the Greek,” Universal, 2010; “Grown Ups,” Sony, 2010]

Watch More

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

Watch More

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Watch More

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

Watch More