Jason Segel was Kevin Hart’s roommate when they were starting out, says ‘he would stay home and write’

Jason Segel attends the "Windfall" LA Special Screening on March 11, 2022 in West Hollywood, California.
Photo credit Getty Images

Considering the characters that Kevin Hart typically takes on, you would think he'd make for a wild roommate. But his former roommate, actor Jason Segel, reveals it wasn't what you might expect.

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Sitting down with Jimmy Kimmel recently, Segel told the story of how director Judd Apatow convinced him to take in Hart as a roommate when the three were starting work on an ultimately failed TV pilot called “North Hollywood.”

“It was a strange time because we were all so young,” Segel told Kimmel. "None of us had really had that much success yet, and Judd Apatow — in a weird move — made Kevin Hart live with me for like six months.”

To add to the struggling actor situation, Segel said it was a one-bedroom apartment. "So, all of a sudden, Kevin Hart was living with me, and he’d be like, “Hey man, are you making breakfast? I want some, too.'”

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Hart has built up a successful career in comedy, and Segel explained that it wasn't due to luck.

“We would be out doing stuff, you know,” Segel recalls, “being young dudes, and [Hart] would stay home and write and write and write. You would think, like, ‘Oh, that’s cute.’ And then, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s how you do it.’ That’s how someone ends up being Kevin Hart.”

Segel has a long history with Apatow, going back to when he starred on the director's first big venture, the cult classic NBC comedy series, “Freaks and Geeks.”

While the show only lasted one season, Apatow and most of the cast members went on to big success. The basic comedic tone of the show – warm nostalgia mixed with bawdy humor – became a template for indie comedies for the next decade, as Apaotow produced/ directed most of the successful, influential comedies of the next decade, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Bridesmaids,” “Knocked Up,” and “Trainwreck.”

As the New York Post reported, MTV actually made a pitch to pick up “Freaks and Geeks” for another season, but Apatow told Collider back in June, 2021 that they "all decided we didn’t want to do a weaker version of the show.”

Apatow instead moved on to “North Hollywood.” And while it didn't get picked up, the cast was impressive and included Amy Poehler (who was about to begin her stint on ”Saturday Night Live”), future “Mad Men” star January Jones, Tom Hanks’ son Colin Hanks, and comedy veteran Judge Reinhold.

For Segel’s part, he soon landed on the CBS hit, “How I Met Your Mother,” that ran from 2005 - 2014, while appearing in some of Apatow’s films. After a brief respite from acting, he’s currently starring in the Netflix thriller, “Windfall” and the HBO series, “Winning Time,” about the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty of the 1980s.

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