by Seth Rogen
Published by Crown Publishing Group on May 11, 2021
Movies // Non-Fiction // Hollywood
It’s Seth Rogen.
Yearbook is exactly what you think it’ll be: weed, Vancouver, comedy, hip hop and Hollywood. If you like those things you’ll dig this book.
By now everyone has a Seth Rogen opinion: mine is I can’t tell the difference between him and Kevin Smith.
(Same brand, same character, all the same stories. Nostalgia as an opiate. So you had stoner fun in high school…great but ah is this gonna be on the final exam? I prefer Adam Sandler: goofy at every stage of life.)
Key Word Highlights:
James Franco: used 6 times
Weed: used 70 times (low! I expected that to be “higher…”)
Magic: 21 times/Magicians 17 times (On page 234…there’s a Magic Castle story…)
Rap/Rappers: used 16 times
Movies: used 134 times
Kanye West: used 33 times
About Green Hornet? I have a soft spot for classic pulpy comic book characters, even though Hollywood continues to disappoint. The Phantom, The Shadow and The Green Hornet (ugh…awful) just didn’t connect or failed.
Seth writes on Page 153: “Me and Evan (Goldberg) grew up loving comic books and action comedies, and we really thought we could contribute creatively to those spaces. We wrote a draft of a script for The Green Hornet, a radio show that was later turned into a comic book that was later turned into a TV series, which most famously starred Bruce Lee as Kato, the Hornet’s much more formidable partner. The studio liked the draft enough that they told us we could start looking for directors.”
Maybe the page was better than the final product?
According to page 161: “Although the making of The Green Hornet was difficult, you kind of have to delude yourself into thinking you’re making a movie that people are going to like no matter what. And you get hopeful. We started testing the movie and it literally tested better than any movie we’ve ever made. We were excited to go promote the film.”
It tested well? How? What version of the movie did these captive viewers consume?
My Green Hornet reality finally matched Seth Rogen’s reality on page 163: “The Green Hornet came out, did fine, got pretty bad reviews, and basically became a punch line, which is better than nothing, I guess. Especially for someone who works in comedy. It’s hard to have too much of a takeaway other than we made something that people didn’t love, which happens. It’s nice when it doesn’t; it sucks when it does. Some people did love it, and I’m appreciative of that. Still, it sticks with me, that we spent so much time working on something that so many people took so much joy in deriding, but then I remind myself, “It’s fine. Even Nic Cage doesn’t like a lackluster reaction.”
Sorry not sorry? The movie sucked. It happens.
You can’t defend the suck. The ongoing battle is always against mediocrity. Intentions don’t matter, final products do.
And so this is Seth Rogen’s Yearbook. Just like Kevin Smith I go back and forth with Seth Rogen. Yearbook is fine but it didn’t impress me or suggest I’m overlooking something significant in his round body of work.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.
Stress free pop culture tastefully harvested for your divine delight. Once a week a carefully curated edition of My Pal Sammy goes directly to your inbox. Sign up for my newsletter because the F in FOMO doesn’t stand for Fun.