Vanity Fair has a huge cover story about Jon Hamm in its latest issue, which is excellent news because Jon Hamm is fantastic and people should talk about him a lot, and terrible news because the full story isn’t online yet and I want to read it nownownow. Luckily, Vanity Fair has a summary of the profile on its website, and it contains this story about Paul Rudd swooping in from college to try to steal Jon Hamm’s prom date, and the high stakes game of Trivial Pursuit that followed. This is now my second favorite story of all-time, behind the thing where Tupac Shakur and Tony Danza were pen pals.
Preston Clarke, a friend of Hamm’s from high school, recalls a Paul Rudd–Jon Hamm showdown. Hamm had taken Clarke’s sister, actress Sarah Clarke, to the prom in high school, but when Sarah met Rudd, who was Preston’s roommate at the University of Kansas, there were sparks. Rudd came to St. Louis to visit the Clarkes, of which Preston tells Windolf, “I thought he was coming to visit me, but obviously he was coming to visit my sister. Hamm was there because he was always at my house. And Paul knew that Jon had taken Sarah to prom. He was slightly intimidated. And then we started playing Trivial Pursuit.” Rudd recalls that night, telling Windolf of Hamm, “He seemed like he was a good-looking, athletic guy who possessed qualities I did not possess. We were playing Trivial Pursuit in teams. Sarah and I were on one team and Jon and Preston were on the other team. Jon would want to go right to Yellow, which was History, and I was like, ‘Oh, great, this guy is smart too.’ They would ask a question like ‘What is the largest lake in Africa?,’ and Jon immediately went, ‘Lake Victoria.’ I felt so emasculated in the game that, as a result, I started reading atlases.” Hamm and Rudd later became friends, after Hamm moved to L.A. from St. Louis.
Does this story get even better? Yes, yes it does. Sarah Clarke, the third angle in this very handsome and charming love triangle (I guess you could say it was “a cute” triangle hahahahahahahahAHAHAHAHA) is the actress who went on to play Nina Myers in 24. Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd fought over Nina Myers’s heart as teenagers, in the single dorkiest way possible. That is tremendous. And shout out to Sarah Clarke, who must tell this story so often that everyone she knows can recite her version by heart.
In conclusion, that splashing sound you just heard is every woman in America melting all over her floor. Someone grab a mop.