On June 3rd, TMZ released a video of Jonah Hill retaliating at a paparazzo for following him. In a moment of extreme frustration Hill reacts in a disgraceful manner. However, unlike some public figures who have recently made extremely racist remarks, Hill acted like a man and took full ownership of his actions, apologizing on both Howard Stern and The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Hill hasn’t always had the best reputation. Being followed by the paparazzi, while part of the price of fame and success isn’t something anyone is born knowing how to handle. There’s a difference between being photographed at a movie premiere, versus being photographed constantly in every day life. Furthermore, the press hasn’t always been kind to Hill, particularly about his weight. All of this likely culminated to his outburst last weekend.
Hill’s remorse shows the public how vulnerable and sincere he is. What could have been a career ending disaster became a teachable moment for him and others. Here is that video and nine more of Hill’s finer moments.
10 The Apology
Hill chooses his words in the apology very specifically. Despite his poor choice of words in the paparazzi video, which, to give Hill the benefit of the doubt, although inexcusable, can perhaps be a subconscious result of society’s bastardization of the word “gay” in our cultural lexicon. He even says,” I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way.” He also encourages others to learn from his mistake. Jonah Hill isn’t homophobic and has publically been a gay rights ally for a long time, even before he was famous. Hill can support any cause he chooses to, but as someone who chooses that one purposely, how can we let someone who had a slip of the tongue while quite frankly, being baited, be labeled as hateful? When he was interviewed on Howard Stern earlier that day, Hill said “I am not good at being a famous person,” he confronts not just the video, but also past transgressions and a reputation for not always being the nicest person. All people make mistakes and this is what Hill is trying to tell us.
9 Knocked Up
In Knocked Up, Hill plays one of Seth Rogen's stoner roommates, also named Jonah, as part of a brilliant ensemble that includes Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr and Charlyne Yi. This clip is just so apropos to Hill's incident; it had to be included on this list, although this is a deleted scene that ended up on the cutting room floor. This is one of Hill’s funniest monologues, which was supposedly improvised, this hilarious clip just speaks for itself.
8 Get Him To The Greek
In Get Him To The Greek, Jonah Hill play Aaron Green, a hilariously neurotic talent scout who has the unfortunate task of getting drug addict rock star, Aldous Snow, brilliantly played by Russell Brand, to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Get Him To The Greek is the spin off sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where Hill actually played a different character, a bartender named Matthew Van Der Wyk, who is an obsessed fan of Snow's. Prior to this scene, Snow asks the straight-laced Green to get him drugs, which is something he isn't quite smooth enough to pull off.
7 Wolf of Wall Street
Jonah Hill was nominated for an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of Donnie Azoff in The Wolf Of Wall Street. Every moment Hill is on screen; the stakes are higher than the real Jordan Belfort on Quaaludes, crack and coke combined. In this scene, Belfort arrives back to his mansion, after driving his car back from the country club on Quaadludes, as high as anyone could possibly be. Azoff is equally high, but it doesn’t stop him from trying to eat some deli meat, which unfortunately he is unable to swallow. While choking, he falls through a coffee table in a comedic moment that can only rival the master of falling through tables, Chris Farley.
6 The Roast of James Franco
The Roast of James Franco on Comedy Central was hilarious. Hill not only made fun of Franco’s stint at Yale, but also his interesting choices in making movies. Speaking of roles, Sarah Silverman took a jab at Hill’s weight by joking, “Right before the show, Seth Rogen rolled a gigantic fatty... Because that was the only way we could get Jonah Hill onto the stage.” He took it in stride and had the final word with Silverman later that night. Hill is not a stand up comic, but his performance at the Roast was just as good as all of the experienced comedians who took the stage that night including Nick Kroll, Aziz Ansari, and Whitney Cummings.
5 40 Year Old Virgin
Released in 2005, The 40 Year Old Virgin was directed and produced by Judd Apatow and stars Steve Carell and Catherine Keener. In a supporting role, Jonah Hill has a short, but a memorable scene with Keener. His character doesn’t even have a real name. He is just “Ebay store customer.” Hill, who improvised this scene entirely, tries to buy a pair of glitzy women’s platform heels from Keener. Keener tries to explain that she doesn't actually sell anything in the store, she just lists it on Ebay, but Hill’s character can't quite comprehend this, so she sells him the shoes.
4 21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street stars and was co-written by Hill. It is a remake of the 80’s television show starring Richard Grieco and the slightly more successful Johnny Depp. The brilliance of 21 Jump Street is that doesn't take itself too seriously, combining the right amount of action and comedy. In this scene, Hill and Channing Tatum have swallowed what could be a deadly drug and worried they might die, try to vomit simultaneously.
Accepted stars Justin Long as a loser who gets rejected from every college he applies to, so he creates a fake one to fool his parents. Released in 2006, Accepted is one of Hill’s earlier films. He plays Schrader, Long’s nerdy best friend, who goes to a real college. While pledging a fraternity, Schrader is forced to wear a giant hot dog costume while soliciting passerbys to ask him a particular question. The costume certainly isn’t Hill’s best look, but it makes for one of his best comedic moments. Fun fact: Hill and Long were once real life roommates.
2 Saturday Night Live
Jonah Hill has hosted Saturday Night Live four times. When he hosted on March 15, 2008, we were introduced to the precocious Adam Grossman. Adam is a six year old child who likes to eat at Benihana, which is a Hibachi chain, with his divorced father, played by Bill Hader. Adam is wise beyond his years and knows about lots of thing he shouldn't know about because he’s six. The subsequent sketches featured Adam, his father and his father’s girlfriend, Debbie, who is played by Vanessa Bayer. The most recent sketch, features just Debbie (Bill Hader, who play’s Adam’s father had left SNL), who now has the privilege of being Adam’s stepmother.
Superbad was Jonah Hill’s breakout role. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg started writing the semi-autobiographical screenplay when they were only thirteen. Released in 2007, Jonah plays Seth, a high school kid who just wants to buy some booze. Seth Rogen has a smaller part in the movie, playing a cop, who is much older than Hill’s character. In real life, Rogen is only one year older than Hill. This movie took Hill from an interesting ensemble player with funny one-liners and moments, to a full fledged movie star. Jonah has so many great scenes in Superbad, it was impossible to pick just one, so here is a montage of his funniest bits.