Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is Jonah Hill trying to tell us something?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Our old friend Jonah Hill has an amusing supporting role in the funny new comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He plays a waiter and aspiring musician at a Hawaiian resort who turns into a clingy, stalkerish obsessed fan whenever in the presence of Aldous Snow (the scene-stealing Russell Brand). The shtick takes up a common thread in Hill's comedy over the past year.

In Superbad, Hill plays a horny, vulgar and purportedly straight high school senior who, nevertheless, seems strangely possessive of his best friend (Michael Cera) and reveals a youthful obsession with drawing elaborate pictures of penises. When Hill hosted "Saturday Night Live" on March 15, the digital short "Andy's Dad" (shown here) depicts Hill's revelation that he's fallen in love with the much-older father of "SNL"-regular Andy Samberg. And in a deleted scene from Knocked Up, Hill's character — named "Jonah" — discussed Brokeback Mountain with Katherine Heigl in an unsuspectingly revealing way (I have a hunch the clip may not stay up forever):

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dmTbs_AJW_M" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Apparently giving man-crushes or homosexual traits to Hill's on-screen alter egos translates to comedy gold. But why is that? I don't think that Hill's real-life sexual orientation is an issue here (Hill's bio on the notoriously unreliable Wikipedia mentions a girlfriend). There simply seems to be something funny about Hill's roles having gay characteristics that they can't process, especially because they initially come across as obnoxious straight guys. Maybe it's because his characters seem oblivious to the signals they send out as if their gaydar can't work on themselves.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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