Bob Odenkirk and Jennifer Coolidge Named Hasty Pudding’s 2023 Man and Woman of the Year

The honorees will visit Cambridge next week for a parade, a show, and a (loving) roast.

Bob Odenkirk and Jennifer Coolidge

Bob Odenkirk and Jennifer CoolidgePhotographs courtesy of Hasty Pudding Theatricals

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will soon hand the Pudding Pot to actors Jennifer Coolidge and Bob Odenkirk, their 2023 Woman and Man of the Year.

Woman of the Year Coolidge is beloved for her iconic performances in Legally Blonde (set at Harvard Law School), American Pie, The Watcher, and the recent HBO hit, The White Lotus. Her White Lotus portrayal of the wealthy, unstable, and oblivious Tanya McQuoid earned her a 2022 Emmy Award, two Critics Choice Awards, and a Golden Globe Award. A Boston native, she has been a Hollywood mainstay for years, beloved for her portrayal of earnest, if ditzy, nail-salon worker Paulette in Legally Blonde, opposite Reese Witherspoon, and her collaborations with director Christopher Guest in films such as Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Outside film and television, she’s performed on Broadway and toured as a solo act. Her next project is Amazon Prime Video’s romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding opposite Jennifer Lopez.

“We are so excited to welcome Jennifer Coolidge back to her hometown and to Harvard, the iconic setting of Legally Blonde. Her glittering personality and comedic presence are so Pudding,” says coordinator Maya Dubin ’23. “We know she’ll fit right into the Pudding’s musical spectacular, though she’ll still have to earn her Pudding Pot on stage.”

Man of the Year Odenkirk is a five-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning actor, producer, and New York Times bestselling author, known for appearing the television series Breaking Bad, and for his leading role in Better Call Saul—for which he recently won the 2023 Critics Choice for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He’s made his mark in film as well, in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated The Post, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, and action thriller Nobody. As a comedian, he has won Emmys for his writing on Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show, and alongside comedian David Cross, co-created the sketch comedy series, Mr. Show with Bob and David, heralded as the “American Monty Python.” In his latest project on AMC, Lucky Hank, he stars as an English department chairman having a midlife crisis in a badly underfunded Rust Belt college.

“When choosing our 2023 Man of the Year, I immediately knew we better call Bob Odenkirk,” says Hasty Pudding producer Aidan Golub ’24. “We’re cooking up a lot of surprises to celebrate Mr. Odenkirk’s contributions to the world of comedy both in front of and behind the camera.” President Lyndsey Mugford ’23 added, “When I heard that Bob Odenkirk would be Man of the Year, I thought, ‘Lucky Hank? More like lucky us! It’s funny, get it?”

The Man of the Year festivities will take place on Thursday, February 2, and the Woman of the Year on February 4. Coolidge will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge, and both guests will be honored with a celebratory roast, followed by the presentation of the Pudding Pot at the renovated Farkas Hall, the Pudding’s home in Harvard Square since 1888. After their respective celebrations, the Man and Woman of the Year will attend the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 174th production, Cosmic Relief.

Read more articles by: Nancy Walecki

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