Paul Rudd Is Revealed as PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

Paul Rudd's cover for PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2021 was revealed on Tuesday night 

Paul Rudd has been crowned PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2021!

Stephen Colbert revealed the Ant-Man and the Wasp actor's new title on Tuesday night's episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

"Right now, there is one major question on absolutely everyone's minds: Who will be PEOPLE Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2021? In these divided times, it's the last thing that all Americans care about," said Colbert, noting how this year's guesses ranged from Chris Evans to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"Well, all the speculation ends tonight, ladies and gentlemen, because it is my distinct honor to have been chosen by the good people at PEOPLE to be the official person to announce this year's Sexiest Man Alive," he added, "and it is not a responsibility that I take lightly."

colbert, paul rudd
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

As a self-proclaimed Sexiness Adjudicator, Colbert then took Rudd, 52, through a series of tests and assessments to ensure that the actor was properly suited to snag the coveted Sexiest Man Alive title.

For more on PEOPLE's 2021 Sexiest Man Alive issue, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

On The Late Show, Colbert cut to a previously recorded clip at the "LSSC Sexiness Research Institute," where Rudd enters for evaluation. "I think you have the wrong room," Colbert told Rudd, to which the actor replied: "That's what I'm here for."

Before analyzing Rudd's mental and physical sexiness, Colbert swore the star in. "I do solemnly swear to give the sexiest answers I can, to be a man and to stay alive," Rudd proclaimed. "So help me McConaughey."

After his intellectual assessment, Colbert did a physical exam on Rudd — even running his fingers through the actor's full head of hair — before testing how sexy he could be in a rigorous photo shoot, during which Rudd posed as a construction worker and a monk before finally pouring a gallon of water on himself wearing only a white t-shirt and jeans.

At the end of Rudd's extensive evaluation, Colbert finally delivered the news on whether or not the actor made the cut to be crowned PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive. "I just got the results back from the lab, and look… there's no easy way to say this, you tested negative for sexy. I'm sorry," Colbert told Rudd.

It was the actor's gracious reaction that secured him the title. "Don't you see Paul? There's nothing sexier than humility," Colbert said. "That was the last test — and you passed, Paul — you passed. You're sexy! Paul, you're the Sexiest Man Alive."

Rudd tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story he does "have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I'd be picked for this, they would say, 'What?' "

Watch the full episode of Sexiest Man Alive: Paul Rudd on PeopleTV.com, or on the PeopleTV app.

colbert, paul rudd
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

The actor's wife of 18 years, Julie, 53, was the only person he told ahead of time about his new title.

"She was stupefied," he says. "But you know she was very sweet about it. After some giggling and shock, she said 'Oh, they got it right.' And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what's she going to say?"

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Rudd is also expecting his circle of friends to give him "so much grief."

"As they should. I would," he allows. "I mean I'm going to lean into it hard. I'm going to own this. I'm not going to try to be like 'Oh, I'm so modest.' I'm getting business cards made. But all of my friends will destroy me and I expect them to. And that's why they're my friends."

For more of our exclusive interview with Rudd, pick up this week's Sexiest Man Alive issue on newsstands Friday and check out all of our coverage on PEOPLE.com.

Related Articles