The 40-Year-Old Virgin is notable for launching Steve Carell’s career as a movie star and for being an extraordinarily quotable comedy from the early aughts. However, if you were to ask Kelly Clarkson, the fact that it’s so quotable it's maybe a con and not a pro, as she recently called out Seth Rogen for writing the famous “oh Kelly Clarkson” line that has haunted her life every since the movie released in 2005.
In fact, Kelly Clarkson says that she can be anywhere in the world and people quote The 40-Year-Old Virgin line at her. She says she hears it far more often than people talking about any of her famous songs. Which, granted, makes sense. It’s far easier to quote a movie line at people than it would be to hum a few bars of a song (and probably less weird, to boot). Now, years later, she just wanted Seth Rogen to confirm Judd Apatow's story on the matter.
Anyway, Kelly Clarkson had Seth Rogen on The Kelly Clarkson Show recently in support of his new book Yearbook. During the episode, the daytime host took the opportunity to get the real dirt on what happened when Seth Rogen was working on the Steve Carell starrer back in the day. Per the conversation:
Kelly Clarkson: Judd Apatow told me, and I wanted to know if it’s true, he told me that it’s your fault that people scream my name everywhere I go, ‘oh Kelly Clarkson.’ I could literally do anything, doesn’t matter how many hits what I do in life, I could save a family from drowning, fires, I could do anything, and literally the one thing people know me from is, ‘oh Kelly Clarkson.’ So, is this true?
Seth Rogen: Well I’m terribly sorry, first of all, I owe you an apology. It is true. That is true. I was a co-producer on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I was also in it. I was a writer mostly by trade at the time. So, I was hired to write also like jokes, we called them alt jokes or alternate jokes. We knew Carell was going to be waxed, and he wouldn’t be able to think clearly probably, so we wanted to be able to just feed him things to say. We don’t always like to only have profanity, so Judd was like, you should write a list of jokes that are like dirty jokes and a list of clean jokes.
Kelly Clarkson doesn’t seem to be too bent out of shape about the outcome, though it is worth talking about how sometimes your life can change in unexpected ways in an instant and you don’t even see it coming. Clarkson recalled how she heard the line in theaters, which comes during a now-famous waxing scene, before the 40-Year-Old Virgin was actually out and she was so confused when she walked into the theater and the line was a part of the preview. Little did she know, more than 15 years later it’s become an iconic movie line in a memorable movie scene.
For Seth Rogen, too, the inspiration came on a whim. The actor admitted if she hadn’t popped up on TV at just the right moment, something else could have totally happened instead.
It was hard to write the clean jokes. Honestly, I think was sitting on my couch writing the jokes and you came on television. And I saw you and it was Kelly Clarkson! In comedy, there’s a thing with “ka” sounds, like they say a k sound is known for being funny in the comedy world. I saw your name and it was Kelly Clarkson.
Kelly Clarkson mentioned she was thrown in between “burger panties’ and “throbbing monkey tail,” also likely a turn of events one cannot anticipate in life. The joke clearly worked well enough that it made the trailer, but if you ever see Clarkson out in the real world, maybe think twice before you holler “oh Kelly Clarkson” at her, particularly if you are anywhere near a waxing establishment. We promise, she’s heard it all before.