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'Ozark's' Jason Bateman feted as Hasty Pudding Man of Year


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — “Ozark” actor Jason Bateman was honored Thursday as Man of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals in Cambridge.

Students dressed in elaborate costumes bestowed the golden pudding pot — and a sparkly bra — on Bateman, but not before poking fun at his various roles in television and film and even tossing him a toy sword to fight his younger self.

“Fun fact — because of the scheduling of that film (Teen Wolf Too), Jason technically didn’t finish high school,” Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, Nicholas Amador, said. “All for a movie that only got eight out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes.”

To earn his pudding pot, Bateman, 52, had to endure a little extra embarrassment: the Pudding members had Bateman sing Bangles hit “Eternal Flame,” (Bateman sang a rendition of the song in 2002’s ‘Sweetest Thing’) with a frozen banana acting as his microphone.

Thursday evening’s festivities marked the first time the award was presented since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.

The last Man of the Year was Ben Platt in 2020. Past recipients include Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson. The 2022 Woman of the Year, Jennifer Garner, will be honored Saturday.

The “Arrested Development” star also produced and directed “Ozark,” a popular Netflix series. He’s the 55th recipient of the theater troupe’s coveted pudding pot.

During the roast, Bateman called out to his former “Arrested Development” co-star Will Arnett and actor Sean Hayes, who were cheering him on in the crowd. Bateman, Arnett and Hayes currently host a podcast together, “SmartLess,” and are embarking on a North American tour this month.

“I am flattered, grateful, mortified and oddly comfortable,” Bateman joked, after receiving the award.

Bateman earned a Primetime Emmy for outstanding directing in a drama in 2020 for “Ozark,” two SAG awards for acting in “Ozark,” and a best actor Golden Globe in 2005 for his portrayal of Michael Bluth in “Arrested Development.”

Bateman, whose acting career dates to the early 1980s, has appeared in multiple television shows and starred in several films including the “Horrible Bosses” movies, “Game Night,” and “Identity Thief.”

The Man of the Year Award has been handed out since 1967, and the Woman of the Year Award was established in 1951. The awards recognize people who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.

When asked where he’d be displaying his pudding pot in relation to his Emmy, Bateman said that he’d be placing it right above the prestigious television award.

“You can’t put pudding in an Emmy,” Bateman quipped.

Stephanie Morales, The Associated Press

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