18 Things to Know About Jewish Actor Jason Segel

The naked break-up scene in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was based on Jason's real life.

Jason Segel has nearly done it all. Of course, he’s probably most well known for portraying lovable lawyer Marshall Eriksen for nine seasons on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” However, he’s also written and starred in comedy movies, taken more serious roles in dramatic films, co-created TV shows and been recognized for his role in a cult classic show. He’s also sung with The Muppets, performed full frontal nudity onscreen and, outside of Hollywood, he’s written young adult novels.

Whew, that’s a lot. So let’s take a deeper dive into the life and career of this multihyphenate Jewish entertainer!

Here are 18 things to know about Jason Segel.

1. Jason was born on January 18, 1980 in Los Angeles to a Jewish father and a Christian mother.

2. He’s a Capricorn.

3. His middle name is Jordan, which is of Hebrew origin!

4. Jason has an older brother Adam and a younger sister Alison.

5. As a kid, Jason felt a bit like an outsider because of his interfaith household.

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 on Marc Maron’s podcast in 2015. “And so everyone wants to compartmentalize people. And I think I decided at that point, like OK, its me versus the world, kind of.”

6. He attended St. Matthew’s Parish School.

I went to an Episcopal school during the day and Hebrew school at night. I actually have a pretty thorough religious education. It’s a lot of guilt – guilt from all sides,” he told the Jewish Journal.

When they asked if there was a difference between Christian guilt and Jewish guilt he responded, “No, it’s all the same.”

7. Jason had his bar mitzvah at Kehillath Israel in Pacific Palisades and according to him, he “nailed it.”

“It was a really fun day, actually, and Wolfgang Puck catered my bar mitzvah; it was very fancy,” he recalled, adding, “And it was very 90s in some fashion; I remember I wore like a long purple jacket with mustard green pants; like, I looked like a terrible standup comedian.

8. For high school he attended The Harvard-Westlake school, who’s alumni also count Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis.

9. Jason played basketball in high school and was teammates with Jason Collins, who would later go on to play in the NBA.

10. Jason’s first major role was in the cult classic 90s show “Freaks and Geeks” as stoner Nick Andopolis. Check out his audition:

11. Despite the huge success of “How I Met Your Mother,” Jason became unsatisfied with his career during the show’s later seasons.

“There was a period in my life and career around the last couple of years of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where things were firing in both movies and TV, and everyone was telling me how well it was going,” he shared in the Hollywood Reporter’s 2023 Comedy Actors Roundtable. “And I was really unhappy.”

He continued, “I think the thing that I was confronted with is that it’s really great to make the decision of ‘f— it, I do what I want,’ but unfortunately there’s a system of permission in place where people will go, ‘We don’t give a s— [what you want to do].’ Like, ‘Good for you, man.'”

12. The naked break-up scene in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is based on real life!

“I was dating somebody who was amazing, I was super in love. And they had to go away for a little while and they came back and called me from the airport and said, ‘Hey, can I come over?’ And as an adolescent young man I thought that meant we’ve been apart, I need to have sex,” he told Conan O’Brien. “She arrived at the house and I had decided the way to really kick off this sex was that I was waiting on the couch totally naked.”

He went on, “She walked in, there I am, laying and I said, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you.’ And then she said, ‘We need to talk.'”

Listen to what happened next:

13. Jason wrote and starred in the 2011 “Muppets” movie musical.

I felt like one of the things The Muppets did that was really unique and special is they never made fun of people, they never got laughs at other people’s expense,” he said 2015. “They’re a frog and a bear and Gonzo’s a whatever, and they all kind of come together. And I felt like you can catch a kid at a certain age and instill this idea that it’s OK. Whatever you are is OK.”

14. His mentor is Jewish filmmaker Judd Apatow! The pair first met on the set of “Freaks and Geeks” and, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Segel has said that Apatow changed his life by teaching him how to write and act.

15. Jason dated artist Alexis Mixter from 2013 until 2021.

“[Jason] and I have shared so much life together. Changed each other at a soul deep level. All for the better,” Mixter wrote in an Instagram post announcing the break up. “The depth of our bond was something I could never have anticipated.”

“I’ve never spent so much time with another person, grown so much alongside someone else, laughed so much, cried so much, shared so much,” Mixter went on. “It is odd to write about the end of a relationship, especially when the friendship that still exists is so full of life.”

16. Does he remember his most iconic TV and film quotations? Let’s see!

17. Jason was brough on to develop the Apple TV+ show “Shrinking” because of how he walks!

“Life is so weird. [Bill Lawrence] lied to me and said, ‘Oh, you’ve been on my mind. I’ve been watching your work. I like your stuff.’ The real reason it turns out is his producing partner, Jeff [Ingold] was in the small town that I live in. I take these long, meandering walks where I’m listening to music. I was probably listening to, like, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” kind of dancing around,” Jason told Vanity Fair. “Apparently Jeff saw me and texted Bill, ‘Hey, just saw Jason Segel. He seems like a happy guy. We should work with him.’ So that’s, that’s the real truth of how this stuff goes down.”

18. Jason was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing Jimmy on “Shrinking.”

You can listen to him talk more about the show with co-star Harrison Ford below:

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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