Frat Pack

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The "Frat Pack" is a nickname given to a group of comedy actors who have appeared together in many of the highest grossing comedy movies since the late 1990s. The group usually includes Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell.

The term was used by USA Today in a June 2004 story and was soon picked up by other media outlets as well.[1][2][3] Before USA Today dubbed this group the "Frat Pack," Entertainment Weekly had referred to them as the "Slacker Pack,"[4] having earlier coined the term "Frat Pack" to describe Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Edward Norton, and Ryan Phillippe.[5] By 2005, Entertainment Weekly had dropped the "Slacker Pack" term and followed suit, referring to the newer crop of actors as the "Frat Pack."[6][7][8]

The name is an allusion to the Rat Pack (and the later Brat Pack), combined with a reference to the group's popular fraternity-related film Old School and the sophomoric style of humor employed in many of their films. Ben Stiller, however, has decried the use of the term, saying, "I think the whole thing about the Frat Pack group is completely fabricated anyway."[9]

Membership[edit]

Owen Wilson (left) and Ben Stiller (right) with Amy Adams in May 2009 promoting Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

Initially, the core members included Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and brothers Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson, all of whom were recognized by USA Today in an early feature. Later, Steve Carell was also included in the Pack.[10] The previous year, USA Today had listed him, along with Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Leslie Mann, among the Frat Pack's "Junior Varsity".[11] While hosting Saturday Night Live in September 2005, Carell indirectly claimed membership by mentioning Stiller, Vaughn, Ferrell, Owen Wilson, and Black, and saying he was "one of those guys now".[12]

In 2005, Details Magazine called Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, and Todd Phillips "The Frat Packagers". A year later, Paul Rudd was called a Frat Pack member by the New York Post and other publications.[13][14] Asked by an interviewer with The Advocate whether Knocked Up would usher him into the Frat Pack, Rudd said he was a "pledge" that hasn't "been initiated yet into the brotherhood." Years later, in a 2011 interview, Rudd acknowledged his association with the group by saying, "As far as the Frat Pack concept goes, I'm happy to be included. I think the elder statesmen in it are really talented, and I'm a fan of all of them."[15] In a 2008 interview with Moviefone's Unscripted, Jack Black jokingly initiated Robert Downey, Jr. into the Frat Pack, due to his starring role in Tropic Thunder with Black and Ben Stiller.[16]

The members of the Frat Pack often work with certain directors multiple times. Wes Anderson is a college friend of the Wilsons and directed them in both Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums (which also starred Stiller), while Todd Phillips directed Old School and Starsky & Hutch. Adam McKay directed Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers, which included John C. Reilly as a lead role. Judd Apatow is the writer/producer of several Frat Pack comedies, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He made his directorial debut with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, starring Steve Carell, and followed up with Knocked Up, starring Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, with a cameo by Carell. Apatow was also a co-creator of The Ben Stiller Show. Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin worked again with Vince Vaughn for the Christmas comedy Fred Claus (2007).

The Farrelly Brothers have directed Frat Pack members Ben Stiller in There's Something About Mary and The Heartbreak Kid, Jack Black in Shallow Hal and Owen Wilson in Hall Pass.

After The 40-Year-Old Virgin there has been a consensus for branding a Team Apatow or the Apatow Mafia which takes its name from the director/producer Judd Apatow. This group of young actors, consisting of Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, in addition to appearing frequently in films of the Frat Pack, frequently collaborate with each other. While often appearing in works among themselves, many fans also consider them an integral part of the Frat Pack.[17]

Filmography[edit]

All members of the Frat Pack have never appeared in a single movie together; they have come closest in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which featured all but Owen Wilson (chiefly in minor roles and cameos). Also, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, and David Koechner have all been cast members on Saturday Night Live, and, except for Owen Wilson, all members have hosted Saturday Night Live. Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Jack Black have made guest appearances on The Office with Steve Carell. They have also all presented during the Academy Awards.

Movie Jack Black Ben Stiller Luke Wilson Owen Wilson Vince Vaughn Will Ferrell Steve Carell Close contributors
Bottle Rocket
(1996)
Lead role Lead role, writer Wes Anderson (director, co-writer), Andrew Wilson
The Cable Guy
(1996)
Supporting role Director, minor role Minor role Judd Apatow (writer, producer), Leslie Mann, Kyle Gass, Andy Dick
Bongwater
(1997)
Supporting role Lead role Kyle Gass, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo
Permanent Midnight
(1998)
Lead role Supporting role Andy Dick, Fred Willard
Rushmore
(1998)
Minor role Co-writer Wes Anderson (director, co-writer), Bill Murray, Andrew Wilson
The Suburbans
(1999)
Supporting role Lead role Jerry Stiller
Meet the Parents
(2000)
Lead role Supporting role
The Royal Tenenbaums
(2001)
Lead role Lead role Lead role, co-writer Wes Anderson (director, producer, co-writer), Andrew Wilson, Bill Murray
Zoolander
(2001)
Lead role, director, writer, producer Lead role Minor role Lead role Christine Taylor, Andrew Wilson, Jerry Stiller, Andy Dick
Orange County
(2002)
Lead role Minor role Leslie Mann
Old School
(2003)
Lead role Lead role Lead role Todd Phillips (director), Matt Walsh, Andy Dick
Starsky & Hutch
(2004)
Lead role, executive producer Lead role Lead role Supporting role Todd Phillips (director), Jason Bateman, Matt Walsh
Envy
(2004)
Lead role Lead role Amy Poehler
Around the World in 80 Days
(2004)
Minor role Minor role Steve Coogan
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(2004)
Lead role Lead role, producer Christine Taylor, Jason Bateman, Hank Azaria
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
(2004)
Minor role Minor role Minor role Supporting role Lead role, writer, executive producer Lead role Paul Rudd, Ian Roberts, David Koechner, Judd Apatow (producer), Fred Willard
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie
(2004)
Minor role Supporting role Lead role, writer, executive producer Lead role Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, David Koechner, Judd Apatow (producer), Fred Willard
Meet the Fockers
(2004)
Lead role Minor role J.P. Manoux
Melinda and Melinda
(2004)
Lead role Supporting role
Bewitched
(2005)
Lead role Supporting role
Wedding Crashers
(2005)
Lead role Lead role Minor role (uncredited)
The Wendell Baker Story
(2005)
Lead role, director, writer Lead role Minor role Andrew Wilson
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
(2006)
Lead role, writer, songs Minor role, producer Kyle Gass, David Koechner (deleted scene/DVD), Amy Poehler, Jason Segel (deleted scene/DVD)
Night at the Museum
(2006)
Lead role Supporting role Steve Coogan, Paul Rudd
Blades of Glory
(2007)
Producer Minor role Lead role Amy Poehler
Tropic Thunder
(2008)
Lead role Lead role, director, writer, producer Dropped out (originally supporting role) Steve Coogan, Christine Taylor
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
(2009)
Lead role Supporting role Steve Coogan, Jonah Hill, Hank Azaria
Little Fockers
(2010)
Lead role Lead role
The Big Year
(2011)[18]
Lead role Producer Lead role
Fight For Your Right Revisited
(2011)
Lead role Lead role Amy Poehler
The Watch
(2012)
Lead role Lead role Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
The Internship
(2013)
Lead Role Lead Role Minor Role
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
(2013)
Cameo Cameo Supporting role Lead Role, writer Lead Role
Movie Jack Black Ben Stiller Luke Wilson Owen Wilson Vince Vaughn Will Ferrell Steve Carell Close contributors

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 15, 2004), "Wilson and Vaughn: Leaders of the 'Frat Pack'", USA Today, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  2. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 21, 2004), "Life in the 'Frat Pack'", Chicago Sun-Times: 47 
  3. ^ Randall, Laura (July 9, 2004), "Unlikely heroes of the box office: The Frat Pack", The Christian Science Monitor, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  4. ^ Rich, Joshua (April 23, 2004), "The A.V. Club", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  5. ^ Daly, Steve (April 24, 1998), "Introducing The Frat Pack", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  6. ^ Lundergaard (July 14, 2005). "Frat Packers just get better". msnbc. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ Kane, Michael (August 14, 2005), "The Frat Pack- How a Dozen Doofs Saved Comedy", New York Post: 78 
  8. ^ Susman, Gary (August 17, 2005), "Who's the Kevin Bacon of comedy?", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  9. ^ "Stiller tired of "Frat Pack" label". Ben Stiller dot Net. September 23, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Frat Pack persona: Archetype casting". USA Today. July 13, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  11. ^ Breznican, Anthony (August 11, 2005), "Carell just wants some love", USA Today, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  12. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (July 13, 2006), "'Frat Pack' splits", USA Today, retrieved June 10, 2011 
  13. ^ Stewart, Sara (April 30, 2006), "Boys' Life - Frat Pack Back on Track this Summer", New York Post: 44 
  14. ^ Garcia, Chris (June 22, 2007), "Hollywood's funny frat pack", Austin American-Statesman, retrieved February 14, 2010 
  15. ^ Crossman, Kevin (April 19, 2011), "Paul Rudd Interview", The Frat Pack Tribute, retrieved June 10, 2011 
  16. ^ Moviefone's Unscripted with the stars of Tropic Thunder, retrieved June 14, 2011 
  17. ^ Team Apatow Players Welcomed to the Academy, retrieved October 18, 2012 
  18. ^ The Big Year at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]