Actor Ben Platt named youngest Man of the Year by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club

Actor Ben Platt accepts Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatrical's Man of the Year Pudding Pot at a Farkas Hall press conference Friday. Photo by K. Sophie Will / BU News Service

By Megan Klein
BU News Service

CAMBRIDGE — In the Netflix show, The Politician, Ben Platt plays a politically-driven high schooler looking to get accepted into Harvard University. Friday night the actor finally arrived on campus for real, as he accepted this year’s Hasty Pudding Man of the Year Pudding Pot.

Platt is the youngest recipient to ever receive the Pudding Pot since Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the country, began presenting the award to men in 1967.

During a press conference after the customary roast by cast members, Platt said he loved coming to Boston to perform, but he didn’t feel tied here until recently. 

“It’s hard for me to feel any kind of real connection with a city until I meet the theater people within that city, and so now I’ve met those people and now I feel much more connected to Boston and I’m very excited to come back…” he told BU News Service

“If I could choose to spend my day with any type of people, it would be theater people,” Platt said at the roast.

Natalie Needle, co-producer of Hasty Pudding Theatricals, said Platt was chosen as this year’s winner due to his talent and influence. 

“We’re thrilled to honor Ben Platt as our 54th Man of the Year because of the incredible impact he has had on Broadway and in Hollywood at such a young age,” Needle said. 

Actor Ben Platt accepts Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatrical’s Man of the Year Pudding Pot at a Farkas Hall press conference Friday.
Photo by K. Sophie Will / BU News Service

During the roast, Platt was asked to give a political speech, Politican style, on whether or not a hotdog is a sandwich. 

“A hotdog is also a sandwich … and anyone but Trump 2020, thank you,” he said.

Platt got his big break on the screen in 2012 with the role of the quirky, musical magician Benji in Pitch Perfect and stole the spotlight on Broadway as the lead character in Dear Evan Hansen in 2016, which earned him six awards.

His career started back in 2006 with a small role in Red Riding Hood according to IMBd. However, it took years for him to go on tour for himself. He finally got to debut his first solo album in 2019 with his Sing to Me tour. Boston was the fourth stop on his 12-date tour. 

Last week, actress Elizabeth Banks was honored as Woman of the Year with a parade through the streets of Cambridge and a celebratory roast at Harvard’s Farkas Hall. 

Past Pudding Pot honorees include Milo Ventimiglia, Paul Rudd and Ryan Reynolds. Awardees are selected due to the “grand impact” they have left on the entertainment community.  

The theatre troupe started awarding females with Woman of The Year in 1951 and then men in 1967. The year 2019 signaled the start of the club casting “gender-neutral,” according to their website. 

Although Platt has earned many awards over the years, except for an Oscar as the roast pointed out, Platt intends to put his Pudding Pot to good use.

“I’m going to put beautiful candies in here,” he said. “Thank you.”

K. Sophie Will contributed to this report.

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