Will Arnett

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Will Arnett
Will Arnett 2012 Shankbone 2.JPG
Arnett in 2012
Born William Emerson Arnett
(1970-05-04) May 4, 1970 (age 45)[1]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Actor
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Penelope Ann Miller (m. 1994; div. 1995)
Amy Poehler (m. 2003; div. 2012)
Children 2

William Emerson "Will" Arnett /ɑːˈnɛt/ (born May 4, 1970) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his many comedic roles, including George Oscar Bluth II ("G.O.B.") in the Fox series Arrested Development and Devon Banks in the NBC series 30 Rock, for which he earned a combined five Emmy Award nominations. He also appeared in the IFC series The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, the NBC series Up All Night, and in the CBS series The Millers; and in films such as Monster-in-Law, Semi-Pro, Blades of Glory, RV, Hot Rod, Let's Go to Prison, The Brothers Solomon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Arnett is also a voice actor for commercials, video games, television cartoons and animated films, and has lent his voice to The Simpsons, Ratatouille and The Lego Movie, as well as the titular character of Netflix's original animated series BoJack Horseman.

Early life[edit]

Arnett was born in Toronto,[2] the son of Edith Alexandra "Alix" (née Palk) and Emerson James "Jim" Arnett, who was a corporate lawyer and brewer, among other occupations.[3][4][5] Arnett briefly attended Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, but was asked not to return after a semester for being a troublemaker.[6][7] The Subway Academy II allowed him to take theatre classes at the Tarragon Theatre. He eventually graduated from Leaside High School[7] and attended Concordia University, Montreal for one semester, but dropped out. As a teenager, he was encouraged by his mother to pursue an acting career, auditioned for commercials in Toronto and enjoyed acting. In 1990, he moved to New York City to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.[8] He appeared in plays in New York and his first acting role was in Felicity Huffman's independent film Erie, which was filmed on the Erie Canal.[9]


In February 1996, Arnett began acting in films and television shows, his first one was in a pilot with Kevin Pollak and his wife, Lucy Webb, for CBS, that was not picked up.[9] Arnett appeared in the film Southie, which was written by his friend Dave McLaughlin. In 1999, he was cast in another pilot for The Mike O'Malley Show on NBC as the protagonist's friend Jimmy. The show was picked up, but was canceled after only two episodes. Arnett has referred to 2000, the year after that show was cancelled, as "the darkest year of [his] life" and he admits that he "didn't get a lot of work" and "drank those years away."[9] In summer 2000, a friend helped pull Arnett out of his battle with alcoholism, and he began to get his career back on track.[10] In 2001, Arnett was cast in the CBS television pilot, Loomis as the slacker brother of a local news reporter (Cheri Oteri), that was not picked up. In 2002, Arnett was cast in a fourth television pilot which was for the CBS sitcom Still Standing, which was picked up and ran for several seasons, but his character was cut from the series after the pilot.[2] Arnett became so frustrated, after his fourth failed pilot, that he "swore off pilots"[2] altogether, until his agent persuaded him to audition for the pilot for Arrested Development.

In 2003, Arnett found mainstream success in television when he played George Oscar "Gob" Bluth II in the Fox comedy series, Arrested Development and in 2006 he was nominated for his first Emmy[11] The show was cancelled after three seasons due to low ratings, despite its critical acclaim and cult following.[12] He also played Max the Magician in Sesame Street, in a nod to Gob Bluth's penchant for using Europe's "The Final Countdown" during his magic shows. According to a 2006 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Arnett's two favorite episodes of the show were "Pier Pressure" and "Afternoon Delight".[13] His exposure on Arrested Development led to a number of larger roles in feature films.

Although he had previously worked largely as a dramatic actor, his roles since Arrested Development have been mostly comedic, and he often portrays smug antagonists. He "never considered himself a comic" and considers himself an "actor first."[14] In 2002, prior to Arrested Development, Arnett played an FBI agent on two episodes of The Sopranos and appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[15]

In 2006, Arnett starred in his first major film role in Let's Go to Prison, directed by Bob Odenkirk, made on a small budget of $4 million.[16] It earned more than $4 million at the box office and more than $13 million in rentals.[17] In Blades of Glory, Arnett and his wife, Amy Poehler played brother/sister ice-skating pair with an incestuous relationship. The film was No. 1 at the U.S. box office during its first two weeks,[18] and grossed approximately $118 million domestically during its theatrical run.[19] and $36 million on home video.[20] He made guest appearances on King of the Hill and 30 Rock (where he played Devon Banks, a scheming network executive, which earned him four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series). Arnett also played supporting roles in the films Spring Breakdown, Hot Rod, The Comebacks, and On Broadway, where he once again worked with his close friend and director Dave McLaughlin, after one of his first film roles in Southie.

In The Brothers Solomon, he again teamed with director Bob Odenkirk and starred with Saturday Night Live member, Will Forte. He appeared in a major supporting role in the basketball comedy Semi-Pro, his second film with Ferrell.[21] He plays Lou Redwood, the commentator of the team, who is "a former player, a bit of a womanizer, and a boozer".[22]

On November 17, 2009, it was announced that Arnett would try to win over real-life wife Amy Poehler in a guest spot on Parks and Recreation. Arnett played Chris, an MRI technologist and possible love interest for Poehler's Leslie Knope. Justin Theroux appeared in the same episode as yet another suitor. Arnett signed on for one episode, and the episode entitled "The Set Up" aired January 14, 2010.[23] In 2010, Arnett and former Arrested Development co-star Jason Bateman created DumbDumb Productions, a production company focusing on digital content. Their first video was "Prom Date," the first in a series of "Dirty shorts" for Orbit (gum).[24] He also starred in Running Wilde which was cancelled in January 2011, due to poor ratings[25] as well as The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret with David Cross.

On March 23, 2011, Arnett appeared in the final episode in The Office season 7.[26] Arnett co-starred in the NBC television comedy series Up All Night, about a couple who struggle to balance their home lives (especially with their newborn child) and their work ones. He is currently the spokesman of a series of Hulu advertisements and his role in television spots deliberately recalls Devon Banks as a power-hungry manipulator.

In March 2012, Mansome, Arnett’s first executive-producer credit with partner Jason Bateman, was announced as a Spotlight selection for the Tribeca Film Festival.[27] The documentary, directed by Morgan Spurlock, is a comedic look at male identity as it is defined through men's grooming habits featuring celebrity and expert commentary. He had been attached to play the lead role of David Miller in the 2013 comedy We're the Millers, but had to pass due to "scheduling reasons"; the part went to Jason Sudeikis.

He co-starred in the 2014 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[28] Arnett starred in the CBS sitcom The Millers, which was cancelled in November 2014, midway through its second season. Arnett will also guest star in the CBS sitcom Mom, with Anna Faris.

Voice work[edit]

Arnett at the 2011 Arrested Development reunion

Arnett's distinctive gravelly voice has earned him voice-over work for CBS television promos, film trailers and numerous advertisements, including Lamisil medication. Perhaps most recognizable is Arnett's voice saying, "It's not more than you need, just more than you're used to" in ads for GMC trucks.[29] He has also lent his voice to a number of television shows, such as Ghostwriter in the 2005 Nickelodeon's hit series Danny Phantom, Duncan Schiesst for the Comedy Central animated program Freak Show, which was created by and also stars the voice of his Arrested Development co-star, David Cross. Arnett was the announcer for the faux trailer "Don't" in the 2007 movie Grindhouse. He also voiced the character "Vlad" from the CGI film Horton Hears a Who!,[30] The Missing Link in DreamWorks' film Monsters vs. Aliens, Horst the German sous-chef, in the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille, and Mr. Perkins in Despicable Me. He planned to be the voice of the K.I.T.T. in Universal's Knight Rider, a sequel to the popular 1980s television series. The production featured a Ford Mustang as K.I.T.T. Since Arnett had a previous long standing relationship with competitor automaker General Motors as the voice for GMC Trucks commercials, GM asked Arnett to pull out of the project. Arnett opted to withdraw from the project and he was replaced by Val Kilmer.[31]

Arnett makes a commercial cameo for the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.[32] In 2009, he voiced the titular character in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, a video game developed by Vicious Cycle Games and starred as an out of work former video game protagonist hoping to make a comeback, versus a greedy game executive played by Neil Patrick Harris. In the Fox animated comedy series Sit Down, Shut Up, he voiced Ennis Hofftard, a bodybuilder who teaches English and always attempts to chase women.[33] The show premiered on April 19, 2009 but was eventually cancelled after several months due to poor ratings. It aired its last episode on free-to-air television on November 21, 2009.[33]

Arnett lent his voice to Batman in the film The Lego Movie, making him the first Canadian actor to portray Batman in a film; he is set to reprise the role in Lego Batman, the sequel planned for 2017.[34] He also voices the eponymous character in the 2014 Netflix original series BoJack Horseman.

Personal life[edit]

Arnett has two older sisters and a younger brother.[35] His father, a graduate of Harvard University and a corporate lawyer, served as the president and CEO of Molson Breweries from 1997 to 2000.[36] Arnett lists Steve Martin and Chevy Chase as his two biggest comic influences.[13] Arnett grew up watching sports in Canada, and is an avid follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays.[37]

Arnett was married to actress Penelope Ann Miller in 1994, divorcing in 1995.[38]

Arnett and Amy Poehler married on August 29, 2003.[39] Together, they appeared in four episodes of Arrested Development in 2004 and 2005, an episode of Poehler's show, Parks and Recreation, in 2010, and the films Blades of Glory, Horton Hears a Who!, On Broadway, Spring Breakdown and Monsters vs. Aliens.[citation needed] Arnett and Poehler have two sons: Archibald (born October 25, 2008) and Abel (born August 6, 2010).[40][41]

In 2012, Arnett and Poehler announced that they were separating after nine years of marriage. Arnett filed for divorce on April 8, 2014.[42]


In 2005, New York magazine named Arnett and wife Poehler "New Yorkers of the Year" during its annual New York Magazine Culture Awards.[43] In April 2007, during a panel hosted by The Paley Center for Media, talk show host Conan O'Brien and his writing staff named Will Arnett as one of their three all-time favorite guests, sharing the honor with Norm Macdonald and Harland Williams.[44] Also in April 2007, Entertainment Weekly named Will Arnett a "Future King of Comedy."[45] In May 2007, Best Week Ever ranked Arnett No. 9 on its "Top 15 Sexiest Nerd Boys" poll.[46] In July 2007, Premiere magazine named Arnett one of "The 20 Hottest New Faces in Comedy."[47]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Close Up Dave
1996 Ed's Next Move Weather Video Guy
1998 The Broken Giant Ezra Caton
1999 Southie Whitey
1999 The Waiting Game Lenny
2000 The Acting Class Will Bennett
2001 Series 7: The Contenders Narrator (voice)
2005 Monster-in-Law Kit
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Lone Gunslinger (voice)
2006 RV Todd Mallory
2006 The Great New Wonderful Danny Segment: Emme's Story
2006 Let's Go to Prison Nelson Biederman IV
2006 Wristcutters: A Love Story Messiah
2007 Blades of Glory Stranz Van Waldenberg
2007 Grindhouse Announcer (voice) Segment: Don't
2007 On Broadway Tom
2007 Ratatouille Horst (voice)
2007 Hot Rod Jonathan Ault
2007 The Brothers Solomon John Solomon
2007 The Comebacks Mailman
2008 Semi-Pro Lou Redwood
2008 Horton Hears a Who! Vlad Vladikoff (voice)
2008 The Rocker Lex
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens The Missing Link (voice)
2009 G-Force Kip Killian
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject No. 11
2009 Spring Breakdown Ted Direct-to-DVD
2010 When in Rome Antonio
2010 Jonah Hex Lieutenant Grass
2010 Despicable Me Mr. Perkins (voice)
2012 The Secret World of Arrietty Pod (voice) American dub
2012 Men in Black 3 Agent AA Uncredited
2012 Mansome Himself Documentary
2014 The Nut Job Surly (voice)
2014 The Lego Movie Batman (voice)
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vern Fenwick
2016 The Nut Job 2 Surly Post-production
2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell Vern Fenwick Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Sex and the City Jack Episode: "La Douleur Exquise!"
1999 The Mike O'Malley Show Jimmy 13 episodes
2000 Third Watch Kenny Episode: "Spring Forward, Fall Back"
2001 Boston Public Hand Salesman Episode: "Chapter Twenty-Nine"
2002 Yes, Dear Bobby Episode: "Johnny Ampleseed"
2002 The Sopranos Mike Waldrup 2 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tony Damon Episode: "Angels"
2003 Undefeated Scott Green's Assistant Movie
Arrested Development George Oscar "G.O.B." Bluth II 66 episodes
2004 Will & Grace Artemis Johnson Episode: "Back Up, Dancer"
2005 Odd Job Jack Tiberius McKorkindale (voice) 2 episodes
2005 Danny Phantom Ghost Writer (voice) Episode: "The Fright Before Christmas"
2006 Freak Show Duncan Schiesst (voice) 7 episodes
2007 King of the Hill Portis (voice) Episode: "Hank Gets Dusted"
2007–2013 30 Rock Devon Banks 9 episodes
2008 Sesame Street Max the Magician Episode: "Max the Magician"
2008 Human Giant Himself Episode: "I'm Gonna Live Forever!"
2009 Sit Down, Shut Up Ennis Hofftard (voice) 13 episodes
2009 Delocated TV Announcer (voice) Episode: "Good Buds"
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space The Missing Link (voice) Special
2010 Parks and Recreation Chris Episode: "The Set Up"
2010–2011 Running Wilde Steve Wilde 13 episodes; also co-creator and executive producer
2011 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Brett Favre 2 episodes
2011 The Office Fred Henry Episode: "Search Committee"
2010–2012 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Brent Wilts 12 episodes
2011–2012[48] Up All Night Chris 35 episodes
2012 The Cleveland Show General Richter (voice) Episode: "A General Thanksgiving Episode"
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Dale Episode: "Seth Rogen Wears a Plaid Shirt & Brown Pants"
2013–2014 The Millers Nathan Miller 34 episodes
2013 David Blaine: Real or Magic Himself Television special
2014 The Simpsons Deputy Director Gratman (voice) Episode: "Steal This Episode"
2014 Wander Over Yonder Ryder (voice)[49] Episode: "The Rider"
2014–present BoJack Horseman BoJack Horseman (voice) 25 episodes; also executive producer
2015 The Late Late Show Guest host 1 episode
2016 Flaked Chip Also executive producer

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2009 Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard Matt Hazard
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens The Missing Link
2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Additional Voice Talent
2014 The LEGO Movie Videogame Batman
2015 Lego Dimensions Batman (The LEGO Movie version)


Year For Award Category Won Other notes
2004 Arrested Development TV Land Awards Future Classic Award Won Shared with Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Mitchell Hurwitz, and David Nevins
2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated Shared with Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter
2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated Shared with Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter
Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2008 30 Rock Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2012 Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Up All Night Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
2014 Arrested Development Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated Shared with Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter
American Comedy Awards Best Comedy Supporting Actor – TV Nominated
2015 The Lego Movie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Nominated


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  10. ^ Chun, Wing. "Page 5". "JASON IS SO MUCH LIKE A SISTER TO ME". Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
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  17. ^ "Box Office Mojo: Let's Go to Prison – DVD/Home Video Rentals", Box Office Mojo, 2007-04-22. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  18. ^ "'Blades' Stays on Top With $23 Million", Yahoo! News, 2007-04-08. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  19. ^ "Box Office Mojo – Blades of Glory", Box Office Mojo, 2007-04-13. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
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  23. ^ Joyce Eng. "Will Arnett to Guest-Star on Parks and Recreation". TVGuide.com. 
  24. ^ "Jason Bateman and Will Arnett Reunite for Web Video". TVGuide.com. 
  25. ^ "'The Good Guys' & 'Running Wilde' Both Cancelled, Fox's Kevin Reilly Admits". zap2it.com. January 12, 2011. 
  26. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (March 23, 2011). "Ricky Gervais, Will Arnett and Brad Pitt Are Coming to 'The Office'! (Rainn Wilson Made Up One of These Names)". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival 2012: Spotlight". Tribecafilm.com. March 8, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  28. ^ Will Arnett Joining Megan Fox in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (Exclusive)
  29. ^ "Will Arnett – Other works", IMDb, 2007-04-22. Retrieved April 22, 2007
  30. ^ Faraci, Derek. CHUD.com, 2007-03-29. Retrieved April 12, 2007
  31. ^ Adalian, Josef (February 6, 2008). "Val Kilmer voices 'Knight Rider'". Variety. 
  32. ^ "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – voice over cast", IMDb, 2012-02-13. Retrieved February 13, 2012
  33. ^ a b "Sit Down, Shut Up". Fox. Retrieved April 14, 2009. 
  34. ^ Borys Kit (October 10, 2014). "'Lego Batman' Spinoff Movie in the Works at Warner Bros.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  35. ^ Chun, Wing. "The Will Arnett Interview, Page 12", Television Without Pity, 2005. Retrieved April 12, 2007
  36. ^ Will Arnett profile @ AskMen.com, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2007
  37. ^ Proteau, Adam. "Bleeding Blue and White in Hollywood", The Hockey News, 2006-04-26. Retrieved May 25, 2007
  38. ^ "Reason Behind Amy Poehler And Will Arnett’s Shocking Split: The Laughter Just Died", "The Huffington Post", 2012-09-12. Retrieved September 4, 2015
  39. ^ Johnson, Zach (September 6, 2012). "Amy Poehler, Will Arnett Separating After 9 Years". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Amy Poehler Gives Birth to Baby Boy – Babies, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett". People Magazine. October 26, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  41. ^ Oh, Eunice (August 6, 2010). "Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Welcome Son Abel James". Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  42. ^ Allison Takeda (April 16, 2014). "Will Arnett Files for Divorce From Amy Poehler 19 Months After Split". US Magazine. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  43. ^ "New Yorkers of the Year – New York Magazine Culture Awards", New York Magazine, 2005. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  44. ^ "Simply Absurd: The Comedy of Late Night with Conan O'Brien @ The Museum of Television and Radio – 4.5.7", The Apiary, 2007-04-05. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
  45. ^ Markovitz, Adam. "The Current (and Future) Kings of Comedy", Entertainment Weekly, 2007-04-10. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
  46. ^ BWE PRESENTS: The Top 15 Sexiest Nerd Boys", Best Week Ever, 2007-05-17. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  47. ^ "The 20 Hottest New Faces of Comedy", Premiere, 2007-07-31. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  48. ^ 'Guys With Kids' and 'Up All Night' Canceled by NBC Retrieved May 9, 2013
  49. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmkEAB7fL_0

External links[edit]