Paul Rudd Is People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2021 — After Stephen Colbert's Rigorous Testing

The “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” star was put through the paces to see if he was sexy enough to take the honor on “The Late Show” Tuesday night.

“There are so many people who should get this before me,” said Paul Rudd in the latest issue of People magazine, where he was officially declared the “Sexiest Man Alive.”

“I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I’d be picked for this, they would say, ‘What?'” he conceded. “This is not false humility.”

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As it turns out, that humility is exactly what landed him the coveted title — at least according to a hilarious two-part sketch on “The Late Show” Tuesday night, where Stephen Colbert thoroughly tested “Sexiest Man Alive” candidate Paul Rudd to see if he was sexy enough.

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“When did you first realize you were sexy?” Stephen asked a clearly nervous Paul.

“I was a baby, I didn’t know what sexy was. I just felt different,” Paul answered. When asked to explain, he said, “Well, I wore a thong diaper. My diaper was a thong. And I knew that the other kids didn’t do that. Looking back, that’s obviously very sexy. I just thought it was … French.”

Before Tuesday’s big reveal of his sexiness, Rudd told the magazine that his wife of 18 years, Julie, was the only person he shared the big news with. He said she was “stupefied” to find out.

“But you know she was very sweet about it,” he told the outlet. “After some giggling and shock, she said ‘Oh, they got it right.’ And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what’s she going to say.”

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One of the reasons that Paul has become such a beloved star is that brilliant sense of humor, which he put on full display on “The Late Show.” It was clear that he and Stephen were having an absolute blast as they really made a thorough examination.

Not only was Paul questioned thoroughly about his sexiness, and even tested on his slouch, but he was physically examined and even put through the paces like he was seeking “Best in Show” at Westminster or something.

If that wasn’t one of the most game performers we’ve ever seen. He showed how sexy he could be in a variety of photo shoot outfits and even while pouring (cold) water all over himself in a white t-shirt. That, after all, is a sexiness staple!

Perhaps one of the funniest moments came when Stephen asked him a simple question, “Age?” Paul answered truthfully that he was 52. “Sense of humor,” Stephen responded, jotting down a note. “Very sexy.”

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In talking to People, Paul said that he fully intends to “lean into” this title. Humility might have been the criteria to earn the title, but now that it’s his, that all goes out the window.

“I’m not going to try to be like ‘Oh, I’m so modest.’ I’m getting business cards made,” Paul said. And he’s hopeful that this will now change his life in the best possible ways.

“I’m hoping now that I’ll finally be invited to some of those sexy dinners with Clooney and Pitt and B Jordan,” he said. “And I figure I’ll be on a lot more yachts. I’m excited to expand my yachting life.”

But it’s not just external experiences he’s hoping this will enhance. “I’ll probably try to get better at brooding in really soft light. I like to ponder,” he shared. “I think this is going to help me become more inward and mysterious. And I’m looking forward to that.”

After his cover went live, a pair of Rudd’s friends — Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow — shared their reactions on Twitter.

“No arguments here,” tweeted Rogen, while Apatow joked, “I have mixed emotions about this.”

Paul Rudd can next be seen in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” in theaters November 19. He next returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” currently set for 2023 release.

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