Dear Jason Segel,
Welcome to Philly! I heard you were in town filming the upcoming AMC series Dispatches from Elsewhere through November and because I’ve had a wild crush on you for the better part of a decade, I thought I’d offer to take you around the city. More specifically, I’d like to point how Philadelphia is almost Jason Segel-themed if you know where to look.
Why do this? It’s because you, living legend Jason Segel, are new to Philly and definitely not because I’d like to create a How I Met Your Mother situation or have 10 of your children, preferably two at a time. Definitely not.
After some light Googling (see: CSI-level stalking, which you’d know about since you appeared on that show more than once), I learned you normally live on an orange grove in Ojai, Calif.. That sounds lovely and, because you insist, we can go there on our second date (by which I mean when I text you in a month to say I just so happen to be outside your house). For now, why don’t we start our day with a leisurely stroll along the Schuylkill River Trail? This patch of grass would be the perfect place to reenact your stretching scene with Leslie Mann in This is 40 — if you don’t mind, I’ve got a ton of tension in my hamstrings.
Can we walk across town so I can show you my projects at the Clay Studio in Old City? Your pal Seth Rogen and I have both taken a deep dive into the world of ceramics — as detailed in a recent GQ profile — and I think you’d dig it, too. It’s quite meditative and forces you to be present, which I know you appreciate, and the teachers here are incredible. You and Seth could have a wheel-off in no time. My work is over here on that back shelf — I know this ceramic bust looks a lot like your mother but I promise, she was just my inspiration. I think she’ll love it the way I love Freaks and Geeks. Oh, wait, you were in that show, weren’t you? Crazy! I totally forgot about that.
Let’s head over to 17th and Sansom Streets. It’s a bit of a walk, but no time like the present to talk about your ideal life partner!
Since you always circle back to the Muppets, I can’t help but think your ideal spouse is wild like Animal, earnest like Kermit, comically gifted like Fozzie Bear and notoriously strong-willed like Miss Piggy.
Here we are at my favorite store — Joseph Fox Bookshop. Might you be willing to sign copies of your newest YA novel, OuterEarth? Oh, look! It’s right next to my memoir, From the Corner of the Oval. How funny that the literati decided to couple two wildly different books next to each other…I actually think you should play the role of Jason in the film adaptation of my book, but we can talk business later.
Let’s walk down a few blocks because I read in Bon Appetit that you love nachos, and if a man’s heart is through his stomach, then it’s my mission to take you to Mission Taqueria. These nachos are so outrageous that management decided to take them off the menu during Happy Hour because they’re almost too popular. They’re like you, as nachos.
I know you’ve already been to a bunch of Stephen Starr restaurants — the Dandelion, Butcher & Singer — and that’s cool, but I’m kind of confused as to why you haven’t checked out Zahav, which just won the James Beard Award for best restaurant in the country. Also, it’s Israeli, so we can tell our dads we went there and make those mensches proud.
(BTW, if you would like to meet my parents, they’re only 20 minutes away in Lower Merion, and since I know you won the state championship for basketball in high school, perhaps you’d be interested in seeing the courts where Kobe Bryant played back in the day. Maybe we could even engage in a little one-on-one? Your nickname might be Dr. Dunk, but I’ve got the scrap — and I play very tight defense.)
It is no secret that you like playing the piano, but have you ever tried a Hammond B3 organ? Let’s stop at Bob & Barbara’s, where the rowdy crowd at this authentic dive bar will cheer for you not because you’re Jason Segel tickling the keys, but because you’re here and alive and making the world a better place as we all dance our cares away. If you have any new vampire puppet songs (a la Forgetting Sarah Marshall), this is the place to try them out to get a truthful (albeit tipsy) reaction.
It’s getting late and I’d love to show you my apartment and introduce you to my cats but that wouldn’t be the least bit professional, or as our dads might say at their first Passover together, kosher.
I hope I gave you an accurate depiction of Philadelphia and, incidentally, of me, in case you want to hang out again, preferably for as long as we both shall live.