Seth Rogen is well known as one of the most successful comedy writers and actors in Hollywood today. Did Rogen’s path to superstardom include a college education?
Seth Rogen did not go to college. He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16 to work with Judd Apatow on “Freaks and Geeks” and has lived there ever since, leaving formal education behind. He had already been an amateur stand up comic for a number of years when he left school and, after a difficult start to his Hollywood career, he has thrived.
For more about Seth Rogen’s early life and how a daring move launched his Hollywood career, read on.
Seth Rogen was born on April 15 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia. His parents were his father Mark, who worked for a number of non-profit organizations, and his mother, Sandy, who was a social worker.
His parents met while in Israel and Seth has described them as “radical Jewish socialists“. He’s keen to stress that they weren’t extreme in their beliefs, just that they believe in a form of socialism that isn’t necessarily embraced in the US. Seth also has an older sister, Danya.
Rogen attended Vancouver Talmud Torah Elementary School, a school that prides itself on providing a strong sense of community and achieving strong academic results.
After elementary school, Rogen attended Point Grey Secondary School. His time in secondary school was seemingly less enjoyable than elementary school, with Rogen stating that he felt like an outsider for most of his time there.
He did, however, form a strong bond with Evan Goldberg, with whom he has written a number of his Hollywood projects.
Rogen and Goldberg were working together long before they wrote “Sausage Party”, as they actually wrote the first draft of “Superbad” during their high school years. The script was heavily based on their own experiences in high school.
Rogen also started his amateur comedy career while in high school. At Camp Miriam, a Habonim Dror camp, Rogen entertained his fellow campers with stand-up comedy routines, providing them with a rough preview of the world-famous comic he would later become.
He regularly attended open mic nights at clubs and even placed second in Vancouver’s Amateur Comedy contest at just 16 years old.
Moving to LA
While Rogen had ambitions to work in professional comedy from the age of 12, it seems unlikely that he could have predicted how soon he would move to Los Angeles.
The move was encouraged by Rogen’s family situation. Seth’s father, Mark, lost his job while Seth was 16 and his mother, Sandy, quit her job, leaving the family without an income. Lack of finances meant the family needed to sell their home and move into a much smaller property.
Fortunately, this was around the same time that Seth attended a local casting call for a role in “Freaks and Geeks”, Judd Apatow’s new comedy series. Rogen got the part and immediately dropped out of high school in order to move to Los Angeles with his family.
At just 16, Rogen was already providing the majority of his family’s income. Unfortunately, “Freaks and Geeks” was canceled after one season, as was Apatow’s next project, “Undeclared”.
Apatow felt a sense of responsibility for Rogen, who he felt had sacrificed his high school and college educations in order to work on Apatow’s projects. A couple of minor roles for Rogen were followed by a writing job on “Da Ali G Show”.
Rogen struck gold in 2007, starring in Apatow’s hit “Knocked Up” and also “Superbad”, finally seeing the script he and Goldberg wrote in high school brought to life (albeit with a lot of alterations).
While a college education can be a great path to success in life, Seth Rogen is living proof that it isn’t the only one.