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 mid-1990s. The group is usually considered to include Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Jack Black, and Vince Vaughn.


The term was used by USA Today in a June 2004 story and was soon picked up by other media outlets.[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 actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Edward Norton, who have acted together in dramas.[5] By 2005, Entertainment Weekly had dropped the "Slacker Pack" term and followed suit, referring to the aforementioned 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.[1] Ben Stiller has decried the use of the term, saying, "I think the whole thing about the Frat Pack group is completely fabricated anyway."[9]


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, John C. Reilly, David Koechner, and Steve Carell were also included in the Pack.[10] The previous year, USA Today had listed Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Leslie Mann as 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 have worked regularly with certain directors. Wes Anderson is a college friend of the Wilsons and directed them in both Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums (which also starred Stiller). 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 in 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 actors, consisting of Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Joe Lo Truglio, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Krumholtz, and Evan Goldberg, in addition to appearing frequently in films of the Frat Pack, frequently collaborate with each other. Many fans also consider them as integral members of the Frat Pack.[17]


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, though Wilson did make a guest appearance in 2016. 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. However, Owen Wilson and Steve Carell are the only members to be nominated for an Academy Award, with Wilson nominated for Best Original Screenplay for co-writing The Royal Tenenbaums[18][19] and Carell nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Foxcatcher.[20][21]

Movie Jack Black Ben Stiller Luke Wilson Owen Wilson Vince Vaughn Will Ferrell Paul Rudd Seth Rogen David Koechner Close contributors
Bottle Rocket
Lead role Lead role, writer Wes Anderson (director, co-writer), Andrew Wilson
The Cable Guy
Supporting role Director, cameo Supporting role Judd Apatow (producer), Leslie Mann, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo
Supporting role Lead role Kyle Gass, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo
Permanent Midnight
Lead role Supporting role Andy Dick, Fred Willard
Minor role Co-writer Wes Anderson (director, co-writer), Bill Murray, Andrew Wilson
The Suburbans
Supporting role Lead role Jerry Stiller
Freaks and Geeks
Minor role Lead role Minor role Jason Segel, James Franco, Martin Starr, David Krumholtz
Meet the Parents
Lead role Supporting role Judah Friedlander, Teri Polo, Shauna Robertson
The Royal Tenenbaums
Lead role Lead role Lead role, co-writer, Oscar nominee Wes Anderson (director, producer, co-writer, Oscar nominee), Andrew Wilson, Bill Murray
Lead role, director, writer, producer Lead role Minor role Lead role Christine Taylor, Andrew Wilson, Jerry Stiller, Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander, Stuart Cornfeld (producer), Patton Oswalt
Minor role Minor role Lead role David Krumholtz, Martin Starr, Jay Baruchel
Orange County
Lead role Minor role Leslie Mann
The Third Wheel
Lead role Minor role
Old School
Lead role Lead role Lead role Todd Phillips (director), Matt Walsh, Andy Dick
Starsky & Hutch
Lead role, executive producer Lead role Lead role Supporting role Todd Phillips (director), Jason Bateman, Matt Walsh
Lead role Lead role Amy Poehler
Around the World in 80 Days
Minor role Minor role Steve Coogan
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Lead role Lead role, producer Christine Taylor, Jason Bateman, Hank Azaria
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Cameo Cameo Minor role Supporting role Lead role, writer, executive producer Lead role Minor role Lead role Steve Carell, Ian Roberts, Judd Apatow (producer), Fred Willard, Adam McKay (writer, director)
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie
Minor role Supporting role Lead role, writer, executive producer Lead role Minor role Lead role Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Judd Apatow (producer), Fred Willard, Adam McKay (writer, director)
Meet the Fockers
Lead role Minor role J. P. Manoux
Wedding Crashers
Lead role Lead role Minor role (uncredited) Christopher Walken
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Supporting role Supporting role Minor role Steve Carell, Jonah Hill, Jane Lynch, Leslie Mann
The Wendell Baker Story
Lead role, director, writer Lead role Minor role Andrew Wilson
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Lead role Supporting role Judd Apatow, John C. Reily, Amy Adams, Molly Shannon, Jane Lynch, Gary Cole, Andy Richter, Rob Riggle, Adam McKay (writer, director)
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
Lead role, writer, songs Minor role, producer Minor role (deleted scene) Kyle Gass, Amy Poehler, Jason Segel (deleted scene/DVD)
You, Me and Dupree
Lead role Supporting role Matt Dillon
Night at the Museum
Lead role Supporting role Supporting role Steve Coogan, Robin Williams
Blades of Glory
Producer Minor role Lead role Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer
Knocked Up
Lead role Lead role Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Leslie Mann, Jay Baruchuel, Martin Starr
Drillbit Taylor
Lead role Co-writer Minor role Danny McBride, Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow
Kung Fu Panda
Lead role Supporting role David Cross
Tropic Thunder
Lead role Lead role, director, writer, producer Dropped out (originally supporting role) Steve Coogan, Christine Taylor, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchuel
Over Her Dead Body
Cameo Lead role
Monsters vs. Aliens
Minor role Lead role Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Lead role Supporting role Steve Coogan, Jonah Hill, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams
Little Fockers
Lead role Lead role
Minor Role, Producer Lead role Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross
How Do You Know
Lead role Lead role Andrew Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Reese Witherspoon
Kung Fu Panda 2
Lead role Supporting role David Cross, Danny McBride
The Big Year
Lead role Producer Lead role
Fight For Your Right Revisited
Lead role Lead role Lead role Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
The Watch
Lead role Lead role Co-writer Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
The Internship
Lead Role Lead Role Minor Role Rose Byrne, Rob Riggle
This Is the End
Minor role Lead role, director, writer, producer James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, David Krumholtz, Martin Starr, Jason Segal (uncredited)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Minor role Lead role, writer Lead role Lead role Steve Carell, Adam McKay (writer, director)
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Lead role Supporting role Steve Coogan, Rebel Wilson, Robin Williams
Kung Fu Panda 3
Lead role Supporting role David Cross, Rebel Wilson
Zoolander 2
Lead role Lead role Supporting role
Sausage Party
Supporting role Lead role, writer, producer Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, David Krumholtz
Brad's Status
Lead role Supporting role Jenna Fischer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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, p. 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". Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  7. ^ Kane, Michael (August 14, 2005), "The Frat Pack- How a Dozen Doofs Saved Comedy", New York Post, p. 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. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. 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, p. 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. ^ 2002|
  19. ^ Gosford Park Wins Original Screenplay: 2002 Oscars
  20. ^ 2015|
  21. ^ Eddie Redmayne winning Best Actor-Oscars on YouTube
  22. ^ The Big Year at IMDb
  23. ^ McNary, Dave (May 19, 2017). "Ben Stiller's 'Brad's Status' Gets Distribution From Annapurna, Amazon". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2017.

External links[edit]