This Is Why Steve Carell Yells 'Kelly Clarkson' In The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Steve Carrell screaming in The 40-Year-Old Virgin

There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in Judd Apatow’s 2005 film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, among them being when Steve Carell’s Andy goes to get his chest waxed and proceeds to spout expletives because of how painful the process is. Well, most of what he shouted were expletives, but randomly thrown into the mix was Carell yelling, “Kelly Clarkson!”

Why did the star of The 40-Year-Old Virgin name drop the American Idol alum? According to Judd Apatow, we have actor Seth Rogen to thank/blame, depending on your perspective. As the filmmaker recalled:

I’m gonna blame Seth Rogen because there’s a picture I think you have of a piece of paper with all the curses that we gave him to scream when he gets waxed. And in the middle in the column that says clean words, right in the middle, it says ‘Kelly Clarkson’ in Seth’s handwriting.

This revelation came while Judd Apatow was speaking with Kelly Clarkson herself on her talk show, as she asked if it was “his fault” that Steve Carell screamed her name. Clarkson thought that this was amazing, particularly that on the column of clear words, she was placed between “Burger-Panties” and “Throbbing Monkey-Tail.” Other possibilities from that column included “Crab-Feast,” “Trahs-Heart” and “Meat-Wench,” but Clarkson’s name won over all those, and Seth Rogen is the man who planted this seed.

Kelly Clarkson in 40-Year-Old Virgin Set screenshot

Kelly Clarkson also mentioned in her conversation with Judd Apatow that despite all her accomplishments over the years, which includes singing for presidents, the reference to her in The 40-Year-Old Virgin still how most people know her best. Judd Apatow compared that to how people say “More cowbell!” to Christopher Walken, although at least in that instance, Walken actually participated in the SNL sketch where that line came from.

At the time The 40-Year-Old Virgin came out, Steve Carrell was just getting started with his tenure as Michael Scott on The Office, so he was arguably best known for being a correspondent on The Daily Show and appearances in movies like Bruce Almighty and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which Carrell co-wrote with Judd Apatow, established him as a leading man on the big screen.

Along with Steve Carrell and Seth Rogen, The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s cast included Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann and Jane Lynch. The movie was met with primarily positive reception and hauled in over $177 million worldwide.

Judd Apatow’s latest movie, The King of Staten Island, is now available for VOD rental, while Steve Carell can be seen on the Netflix series Space Force and Irresistible, the latter of which drops on VOD this Friday, June 26. If you’re curious about what movies are set to play in theaters later this year, you can find that information in our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.