So the question is…who f-cked over Page Six?! Last week Page Six claimed to have been told by “multiple sources” that Chris Evans would be named PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive this year. Well, they were wrong. Chris Evans is not the Sexiest Man Alive. Did PEOPLE intentionally false-leak Chris Evans to Page Six to protect the identity of their SMA? If so, I love the play – it made last night’s announcement on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert even more of a surprise and, whatever, Page Six will be fine. We all get it wrong sometimes and people have short gossip memories. Look how often the Daily Mail and the Sun in the UK get it wrong and that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to pollute the gossip landscape. Was is supposed to be Chris and they pivoted for Paul? No. The timeline is too tight. There’s no way they could have turned it around this quickly.
So let’s get to the real Sexiest Man Alive for 2021: Paul Rudd!
Paul’s confirmation with Colbert is also new. Typically it’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! so PEOPLE is full of the unexpected for 2021, I like it. I’ve included the two Colbert segments below featuring Paul auditioning for the SMA title and his physical assessment, LOL, determining his suitability. Both segments are great and are exactly Paul’s brand – self-deprecating, funny and cute, and yes, of course, he looks great.
This will not be a controversial choice – and by controversial I mean… not Blake Shelton, no disrespect to Blake Shelton, for sure there are people who find Blake Shelton sexy, like Gwen Stefani, and I love that for her. But Blake’s being named SMA was kind of a WTF moment, his sexiness doesn’t quite check off as many demos as, say, Dwayne the Rock Johnson, who preceded him as the SMA and Idris Elba, who succeeded him as SMA. Blake’s crowning was met with, well, Twitter didn’t exactly embrace it. This will not be a problem for Paul. Twitter loves Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd trends every three or four months on Twitter, and always on his birthday when people, year after year, are all like…what?! Paul Rudd is how old? He doesn’t age! He’s actually, at 52 years old, an really good age for the Sexiest Man Alive after Michael B Jordan who at 33 last year was on the younger side of SMA history.
Paul Rudd is famous but not too obvious, he’s not problematic, and he’s popular. He’s popular online, we just established how popular he is on Twitter – but he’s also popular within the industry. Paul Rudd has worked with almost everyone. He’s a Marvel superhero. He’s also part of several comedy circles, the Judd Apatow crowd, the Will Ferrell crowd, and he’s promoting a new series with Will called The Shrink Next Door on Apple that premieres this Friday. Great timing.
Paul Rudd’s reign as SMA will be fun. He’s already made it fun with Colbert, “so help me, McConaughey”, LOL. He’s already told PEOPLE that he expects a lot of “grief” from his friends and family. He’ll probably get a lot of good-natured grief from his celebrity peers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Evans posts something and Chris Hemsworth too, who is the other Avenger with the SMA title. Jennifer Aniston, who has known Paul forever, might even do something cheeky on Instagram.
It’s a win for PEOPLE, then. Paul Rudd is a solid addition to the Sexiest Man Alive co-hort. He contributes to the comeback of the brand which had taken a few hits but has turned it around in recent years. He will wear the crown well.