new yorker festival

The Story Behind Jason Segel’s Dracula Puppet Musical

The New Yorker Festival 2015 - Jason Segel Talks With Michael Schulman
Photo: Donald Bowers/Getty Images

For many, the most-loved parts of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the 2008 romantic comedy written by and starring Jason Segel, are when Segel’s lovable-schmuck character performs a puppet rock-opera centered around the life of Count Dracula, cheekily titled A Taste for Love. However, puppet enthusiasts might be surprised to learn that the opera was not specifically written for the movie but was actually a real passion project Segel had pursued many years earlier.

“I was going through this slow period, and at this time I was smoking a lot of pot, if we’re going to be honest about it,” he said at the New Yorker Festival on Saturday afternoon. “And I came up with the conclusion that the way I was going to jump-start my career was with a lavish Dracula puppet musical. I wrote the Dracula musical alone in my apartment and I recorded it.”

After he finished writing the opera’s powerhouse ballad, “Dracula’s Lament,” he was keen on sharing it with his friend and frequent collaborator Judd Apatow for his peer’s feedback. “I then drove to Judd’s house with a CD that I burned for him,” he continued. “I played it for him. I remember it got to the end of the song, and Judd reached over and pushed pause and stopped it. And he said, you can’t play that for anybody.

So since Segel went on to write and star in his own Muppets movie, is there a chance that we’ll one day see A Taste for Love in its entirety? Don’t count on it. “People ask me all the time,” he said with a laugh. “I feel like it’s much better in short form where you’re allowed to think it’s good.”

The Story Behind Jason Segel’s Dracula Musical