Only Murders in the Building is killing it in various ways in Season 3 — pun lethally intended — from giving Andrea Martin more screentime to peeling the layers back on Oliver’s musical brainchild Death Rattle Dazzle and beyond. Something I hope the Hulu series also continues is its exploration of Ben Glenroy’s lengthy Hollywood career, as it’s full of both ridiculous concepts and winking homages to a variety of Paul Rudd’s biggest and best movies and other career highlights. The comedic whodunnit’s production designer talked about bringing all the Rudd love into the show, which made me realize I somehow completely missed the nod to his A+ Friends character.
Speaking with TheWrap, production designer Patrick Howe gave set decorator Rich Murray much of the credit for turning the apartments of Ben and his stalker into shrines to a fictional film career. In his words:
99% of the credit goes to decorator Rich Murray… He really did come up with this long laundry list of Easter egg opportunities that were attributed to Paul’s career up to this point. The directives we had from the script was that he was going to move into the penthouse apartment. . . . And the other directive was ‘open on a Hard Rock Cafe’s worth of memorabilia devoted to Ben Glenroy,’ that was bold print in the script.
Some of the joyous highlights in general include the close-up "Talent" poster, the big print of a mustachioed Rudd, the Funko Pop figure and the other action figure set, both of which I would throw money at with the speed of a Martin Short-sized gazelle. And don't get me started on all the GirlCOP stuff, because I already went there. But it was the movie memorabilia in the apartment of Adrian Martinez's stalker fan Gregg (the first of Only Murders' Season 3 suspect red herrings) where the career easter eggs came fast and furious. Well not fast and furious, but a reference more apt to his career. Overnight Delivery? I'll workshop it.
Such easter eggs include the animated film Ant Family Adventure, which was a pretty on-the-anttena reference to Paul Rudd's MCU hero Ant-Man, and the aforementioned action figure was a throwback to his '90s stint performing as a DJ for bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs. And down the hallway were a trio of posters: one for GirlCOP, one for Sex Panther — a rather clear nod to his Anchorman character Brian Fontana's infamous cologne — and then one whose name I failed to fully read when Episode 2 first hit streaming: Hannigan's Wedding Night.
As all Friends fans are aware, Paul Rudd joined the cast last in its run as Phoebe's boyfriend-turned-hubby Mike. And what was Mike's last name? That's right: Wedding Night. Wait, no, it was Hannigan. And it's also worth noting that the character temporarily changed his name to Crap Bag, so we'll just assume anytime someone is holding a bag of crap (dog or otherwise), that it's also a reference to Rudd.
It sounds like all the efforts that went into creating the mass amount of Paul Rudd-specific props will continue to be celebrated by fans even beyond the Hulu series' run. Here's how Patrick Howe explained it:
Paul Rudd loved a lot of things in his apartment and wanted some things for himself, and I suggested since everything is so specific to him that. ‘Paul, assuming we can get away with giving you these things, why don’t you take all these things and have an auction at your charity? Because you are bound to have fans that will pay money for a portrait of you.'
I'm guessing it would be too much money to purchase the actual Paul Rudd bloodied and lying on the ground like a corpse. Maybe it would work as a rental, though. In any case, I hope the Hannigan's Wedding Night poster is available to buy at some point in my lifetime, perhaps at whatever Paul Rudd museum is founded and opened up for public enjoyment.
New episodes of Only Murders in the Building are available to stream every Tuesday with a Hulu subscription, so be sure to continue joining in the justice-seeking blame game of suspects.