Entertainment behind the scenes
Jason Segel sings for love, or a one-night stand — whatever works
In an age when celebrities guard their privacy like gold, Jason Segel goes a different route. On Wednesday night, the “How I Met Your Mother” star stopped by a Swell Season show in Los Angeles, where he gave an impromptu performance and sang out what he said was his phone number, proclaiming that he wanted to use his “celebrity status to make love to a Swell Season fan tonight.”
Click here to see a video of the comedic performance, complete with Swell Season pianist/singer Marketa Irglova holding up a placard with Segel’s supposed number, with its Syracuse, New York, area code. Segel’s song featured lyrics that asked concertgoers to call him for a hook-up, but only if they’re “disease free,” and he made liberal reference to his full frontal nude scene in last year’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which he said involved “no special effects.”
Before the song, Swell Season singer Glen Hansard introduced Segel by saying that he had bumped into the actor at a hotel bar, along with Paul Rudd, Segel’s co-star from the movie “I Love You, Man.” Hansard, who himself starred in a movie, the 2007 film “Once,” in which he and Irglova played struggling musicians trying to make one great album, said at the concert that he, Segel and Rudd had engaged in a bout of drinking, and things got “properly hairy.” Supposedly, the Segel performance resulted from that.
For the record, this is not Segel’s first musical foray, check out this link to him performing a comic serenade on Craig Ferguson’s late night talk show.
But it made sense for Segel to get on stage at a Swell Season show, since the band (pictured at right last year at a show in Prague) is all about celebrating the musical abilities of everyday folks, which was also a big theme in their film “Once.”
On nearly every song at his set at L.A.’s Wiltern Theatre, Hansard had the crowd sing along, not only inviting them to chime in but coaching them on how to do it. When one woman in the audience took the lead harmony vocal on one song, Hansard called her “beautiful.”
So in the spirit of amateur music-making, Segel sat at the piano and said he had asked Swell Season how to write a song, and that Irglova told him to “include as much personal information” as possible. Hence, the lyric with his phone number in it.
It got the Wiltern audience laughing uncontrollably. But the real question is, did it work for Segel that night? Is there anybody out there who, ahem, knows for certain?