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'Veronica Mars': The one with Paul Rudd

May 12, 2007 | 10:01 pm

Ruddt Paul Rudd is a veteran of the TV guest star slot: he played Phoebe's husband on "Friends," and he's popped up in everything from "Strangers with Candy" to "Reno 911!" Only on "Veronica Mars," however, did he get the chance to play a pill-popping, triple vodka tonic-swilling, grubby, lecherous washed-up rock star, the surviving half of a once-popular duo named My Pretty Pony.

Week after week, Kristen Bell usually steals the show with her spot-on, snarky Veronica -- but this time she gets blown off the screen by a gleefully scenery-chewing Rudd. He sings! He wears horrifying '80s wigs! He gets busted skinny dipping! He mixes up his groupies!

The mystery of the week -- the band's backup tapes go missing before a live show, and Rudd doesn't have the confidence to go out without the vocal recordings of his dead partner -- was a silly affair, obviously an excuse just to get Rudd on the screen to do his thing. Ah, plot points? Piffle!

Still, it was a pleasant reminder that the Spinal Tap oeuvre is always funny. (And having a guest star that's a big name from TV and film never hurts when a show is grasping for ratings to stay alive...but then the show gets postponed in the second largest media market due to fire c'est la vie.)

As a side note, for those who couldn't wait until it aired Saturday night -- like, um, me -- the episode was available for download on iTunes the following day. And if you missed the rescheduled airing and really, really need to see Rudd skinny dipping, the show is still there for $1.99.

(Photo: The CW)