Jody Hill is an accomplished American filmmaker, writer, director and actor, who has left a permanent mark on the world of comedy with his distinctive style and irreverent humor. Hill is probably best known for co-creating the acclaimed HBO comedy series “Eastbound & Down”, alongside actor Danny McBride.
Early life and education
Jody Hill was born on 15 October 1976, in Concord, North Carolina, which means that he’s 47 years old. Hill developed an interest in filmmaking and comedy early on in his life, which eventually led him to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He graduated with a degree in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Hill’s career as a producer began in the early 2000s with the movie “The Foot Fist Way”, a low-budget black comedy movie on the topic of martial arts. Apart from producing the movie, Hill also acted in it, portraying the character of Mike McAlister. The movie debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2006.
Following his debut in the entertainment industry, Hill met Seth Rogen on the set of “Knocked Up,” where their future collaborations were set up. Rogen took this opportunity to invite Hill to make a cameo on his next movie “Superbad,” as the character Tut Long John Silver, appearing on screen beside established actors such as Michael Cera, Bill Hader and Emma Stone. Hill later returned the favor by casting Rogen in the lead role of his movie “Observe and Report.”
That same year, Hill collaborated with actor Danny McBride, and together they co-created the HBO series “Eastbound & Down.” He took the role of executive producer, and was in charge of directing a total of 16 episodes. He also made a brief appearance in the show, in the role of a side character named Andrew.
After this major breakthrough in his career, Hill went on to produce various films and TV series, such as “Chozen” (2014), “Manglehorn,” (2014), and “Donald Cried” (2016). His next major success as a producer, however, was with the comedy TV series “Vice Principals” which premiered in 2016. The show was on air for two seasons, and a total of 18 episodes before it came to a close in 2017.
His next big project came in 2019, when he produced and acted in “The Righteous Gemstones” alongside his longtime partner, Danny McBride. Hill portrayed the character of Levi, who appears in 21 episodes; the series has been on air for three seasons so far, and has reportedly been renewed for a fourth season set to come out in 2024.
Apart from directing and producing movies and TV series, Hill also ventured into the world of music videos. In 2009, he took the helm in directing The Avett Brothers’ music video for “Slight Figure of Speech,” which showcased performances by Wolfe and Andy Daly. The next year, he directed the parody music video entitled “Swagger Wagon” for Saatchi & Saatchi’s promotional campaign for Toyota’s Sienna SE minivan.
Observe and Report
“Observe and Report” is a dark comedy film which follows Ronnie Barnhardt, a mentally unstable mall security guard. Hill wrote the character of Ronnie specifically for Rogen, and the movie went on to be a big hit, opening at number four at the box office in 2009.
The film explores themes of mental health, authority, and identity with dark and edgy humor. Ronnie becomes obsessed with catching a mall streaker to prove himself as a true law enforcement officer. The movie received mixed reviews for its unapologetic portrayal of flawed characters and controversial themes. “Observe and Report” has since gained a cult following for its unique take on comedy and Seth Rogen’s departure from his usual roles.
Eastbound and Down
The HBO series follows the life of Kenny Powers, a former professional baseball player portrayed by Danny McBride.
Once a flamboyant and successful Major League Baseball pitcher, Kenny finds himself facing a downward spiral in both his career and personal life. Forced to return to his hometown of Shelby, North Carolina, Kenny takes a job as a physical education teacher at his former middle school. Despite his fall from grace, Kenny’s larger-than-life personality and arrogance remain intact, as he navigates the challenges of his newfound life.
The series explores themes of redemption, self-discovery, and the consequences of unchecked ego. The series cleverly balances cringe-worthy moments with genuine character development, creating a comedic narrative that is both entertaining and surprisingly heartfelt.
The series received critical acclaim for its unique comedic style, unpredictable plotlines, and Danny McBride’s standout performance. Today, “Eastbound and Down” has a rating of 8.2 stars on IMDb.
“The Righteous Gemstones”
The series follows the lives of the Gemstone family, a world-famous televangelist clan, as they navigate the challenges of both their megachurch ministry and their dysfunctional personal lives. The series kicks off with the Gemstones dealing with the aftermath of a blackmail attempt that threatens to expose their secrets.
“The Righteous Gemstones” satirizes the world of mega-churches and televangelism while exploring themes of faith, greed, and family dynamics. The show delves into the contradictions between the Gemstones’ public personas as religious leaders and their flawed private lives.
The show received positive reviews for its witty writing, strong performances, and the ability to tackle serious subjects with humor. The show’s 8.1-star rating on IMDb testifies to its success and popularity among audiences.
Jody was in a long-term relationship with actress Collette Wolfe, who notably appeared in two of his movies, “Observe and Report” and “The Foot Fist Way.” Hill and Wolfe tied the knot in 2012 in a ceremony held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. However, despite their union, the couple faced challenges, and t’s rumoured that they’ve divorced.
Jody Hill Today
In 2023, Jody Hill is still producing and directing movies with the same passion as when he started his career. He has one upcoming movie, “The Prima Donna”, which is currently in preproduction. He is also credited as the executive producer of the TV series “Hellraiser” which is currently in development.
Jody Hill stands at a height of 6ft (1.83m), weighs approximately 185lbs (85kgs), and has blond hair and blue eyes. He frequently wears suits and formal attire due to the nature of his work.
As of 2023, Jody Hill’s estimated net worth stands at around $5 million, reflecting his contributions to successful projects in both television and film as a filmmaker, writer, director, and actor.