I’m just going to say what we’re all thinking: Seth Rogen can absolutely get it.
When the Long Shot star’s GQ cover came out this week, the internet went nuts. For once, heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and pansexuals were all in consensus — Seth, the ultimate schlubby stoner, is hot as hell.
I’m here to say I’ve been saying this for years.
Seth Rogen has always been my celebrity crush, and now that everyone else has come to their senses and realized his worth, I’ve become somewhat territorial. This week my Twitter feed was flooded with horny-for-Seth tweets, and I’m like, back off, he’s my fantasy boyfriend (who seems very happily married in real life). Jewish, hilarious, good relationship with his parents, nerdy, stoner, and a little junk in the trunk — he’s the epitome of my type, and I have the ex-boyfriends who look just like him to prove it.
I’ve always known Rogen to be a sexpot, but the internet’s recent infatuation is unprecedented. Since his breakout hit Knocked Up, nearly all of Seth’s movie characters, from Zack and Miri Make a Porno to Pineapple Express, have characterized him as an underachieving, drug-consuming Jewish guy who somehow always gets the hot girl. So when did he publicly transform from unassuming A-list star to the heartthrob that makes everyone tingle? Has the schlub become the new stud?
I think there’s something to that theory. It’s not just Rogen — the spotlight has also been on long-time schlub Adam Sandler, too. Always the class clown with slight anger issues who inevitably charms a girl way out of his league, Sandler’s trademark nebbish movie characters have traditionally been attractive to only a certain type of person (AKA me). Critics will say the most polarizing opinion today is Sandler’s hotness, and a quick Twitter search supports this. One user wrote, “honestly, fuck you, block me if you think Adam Sandler isn’t hot.” Ditto. Another writes, “I’ll give y’all Seth Rogen, but Adam Sandler is seriously ugly, right?”
Scathing review aside, Sandler is definitely making a comeback. He has two upcoming movies in the works, a fourth Hotel Transylvania set for 2021, and he made a killer Netflix special 100% Fresh. Most recently, the comedian returned to SNL after two decades since being fired the cast, and brought back his infamous character Opera Man. “Pretty lady, goofy man-ah, Opera Man no understand-ah,” Sandler joked, roasting Seth Rogen’s newest film Long Shot in which he’s romantically linked to Charlize Theron. “Silly face but still he score-ah, where have I seen this before-ah? Come on, man!” The audience was then shown a collage of Adam Sandler movie posters.
Like the good sport he is, Rogen was ecstatic with the call-out. “Opera Man making a joke about me is maybe the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me,” he tweeted. “Holy shit, what an insane honor.”
In Long Shot, Rogen pretty must plays himself, a Jewish schlub of a journalist, opposite his co-star Charlize Theron, who plays a goddess Secretary of State. As you can guess, just like in The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, and basically all of Sandler’s hit movies, it’s actually Rogen’s nebbish-ness that eventually wins the hot girl’s heart.
After watching, I decided it was finally time for a major turning point in Jewish male history: reclaiming the schlub.
When reading Merriam-Webster’s definition of schlub — “a stupid, worthless, or unattractive person” — the first man that comes to mind is Seinfeld’s George Costanza. A neurotic, stocky, balding, and compulsive liar, Costanza epitomizes the traditional nebbish schlub. I for one am decidedly not attracted to George Costanza, which makes me wonder if we’ve been defining schlub incorrectly all along. Schlub is to Jewish men as Jewish American Princess (JAP) is to Jewish women — an unflattering, stereotypical description. And just as we’ve reclaimed JAP and Jewess (and zaftig, the Yiddish word for curvy women), Seth has paved the way to take back schlub.
It’s true, Rogen only recently became a fashion icon, gracing headlines for his outfits and sporting $6K Louis Vuitton pants in photoshoots, and yes, he has slimmed down in recent years. Once rough around the edges, his exterior has definitely gotten an upgrade. But he still remains the hardworking, lovable, Jewy schlub that led him to fame. (He’s also very dedicated to charitable giving — he co-founded Hilarity for Charity, an annual comedy show that raises money for Alzheimer’s research — which makes him that much hotter.
No longer can schlub be used to describe an unkempt, disheveled, bumbling slob. Like a caterpillar that radically transforms into a butterfly, Seth Rogen has emerged from his pigeonholed cocoon and redefined what it means to be a schlub: a witty, charming, hilarious Jewish man who can absolutely get it.
Header image from GQ via Sebastian Mader.