Is this sleazily manipulative and selfish or shrewdly calculated and an instant boost to one’s career? It’s too soon to tell, but if Josh Gad’s televised pitch for a role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII works, then actors might be auditioning from couches of late-night television programs for years to come.

The Book of Mormon and 1600 Penn actor appeared on Jay Leno’s NBC program last night and begged J.J. Abrams for a role in the Star Wars sequel. See for yourself:

It’s a clever bit, with Gad pulling out dialogue for he and Leno to workshop as part of an “audition” to show to Abrams. He works in some legitimately funny jokes that prove he’s a dedicated fan of the Star Wars universe. And I now really want to seee “the fattest kid in Jedi training school” with Grandpa Vader’s breathing problems as part of the expanding Star Wars universe. That has to be better than Jar Jar Binks, right?

While this is a funny way to kill time on a television talk show, Gad can’t really hope that it wins him a spot in Abrams’ cast, can he? Then again, Abrams does look for comic relief in his films, and isn’t opposed to casting against type if he thinks that an actor is right for a role. Simon Pegg was best known for the outlandish comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz before landing the part of Scotty in Abrams’ Trek reboot. Could Gad, who has heat from Mormon, land a part in Episode VII? I’d give it a 5% chance … but a chance, nonetheless.

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