Paul Rudd found out he was allergic to MSG when he fainted in a Hong Kong bathroom

World Premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame'
Paul Rudd was on The Tonight Show last week to promote the movie that needs no promotion. He told a crazy story about fainting in the bathroom of a Hong Kong restaurant and waking up with his hand in the toilet. Also, I know Paul Rudd is 50 because I just looked it up. Even though everyone has been talking about it I still thought he was 48. He is a lovely man. Here’s his story about the MSG incident.

I’ve been to Hong Kong twice. The first time I did it I fainted. I had two bowls of soup then I went to the bathroom. I started feeling really dizzy. I just blacked out. The next thing I knew there was somebody banging on the door. My right hand was completely submerged in the toilet and my left hand was around my p-n1s. [Ed note: ad filters] That’s how I found out that I am allergic to MSG.

I have actually heard of MSG allergies because one of my friends gets terrible headaches from MSG. While MSG is generally considered safe, there are people with allergies and sensitivities to it. MSG is more common in Chinese food and is in so many packaged foods too, like Doritos, so it must be hard to avoid. I can’t imagine fainting like that in a bathroom though! I hope he was out to dinner with other people and that they helped him afterwards. I feel like there’s more to this story we’re missing.

The Avengers: Endgame cast has been doing promotion but they haven’t been able to show any clips whatsoever. After Paul told that story Jimmy claimed that he had an exclusive clip to show and then they re-aired the opening part of that same interview. Then Paul apologized for not setting it up and that blew my mind it was so meta.

Paul and Jimmy also did a remake video for “You Spin Me Round,” which Jimmy said in another segment was the same as the original music video. It was their third video remake together! You can see it below. It cracked me up so much. It must have been a lot of work but it looked so fun.

My son saw Endgame on opening night and he liked it and said it was like fan fiction. No spoilers! I made him tell me what happened though.

Here’s the part of the interview where Paul talked about fainting:

Here’s the remake of “You Spin Me Round!” This is well worth watching.

at arrivals for AVENGERS: ENDGAME Premiere, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA April 22, 2019. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

World Premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame'

Photos credit: WENN and

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26 Responses to “Paul Rudd found out he was allergic to MSG when he fainted in a Hong Kong bathroom”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    @Celebitchy what is the call on spoilers in all these End Game posts? I’m enjoying them but I’ve been careful with my comments. I don’t want to spoil anyone.

    Rudd had some terrific moments in Endgame. I’m not sure he broke out likely Doctor Strange did in Infinity War but I’m definitely a bit more invested in Ant Man than I was.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Thanks Mia just keep trying to avoid spoilers. It’s ok the way you phrased it vaguely! 8)

      • Eliza says:

        Can we have a spoliers allowed post?? I don’t want to even say anything basic and ruin anything for anyone. Going in knowing nothing is best.

  2. dota says:

    How do people with allergies cope with it naturally occurring in their bodies or from regular food where it is not an added ingredient? Do foods with it in them set off the allergy? Parmesan cheese has a huge amount of natural MSG and even corn has it.

    • Eliza says:

      I think depends on your allergy reaction. Some people can take a small dose, some cant handle any. Food allergies (minus the biggies like peanuts) are a little odd because you can grow out of them. Most likely he should avoid all for a while given his reaction, then test if he can handle a little (under supervision of allergist). For example as a kid I was “mildly” allergic to several foods and only allowed up to a specific portion, while other foods I was “very” allergic not allowed at all. I now have no food allergies.

    • Incredulous says:

      I have gone from being very allergic to shellfish as a kid to “your neck is twice the size of your head, can you breathe?” allergic. Mostly, it’s pretty easy to avoid ingesting any shellfish, though. Except in that last case where I ingested literal trace amounts and the manager I spoke to about it was hell-bent on avoiding anything resembling blame. I ended up dropping my complaint because he was not interested, in any way, in adopting some sort of protocols to avoid killing customers. (I’ll add I only ever mentioned money once, just to point out I wasn’t interested in any, I was interested in people not dying.)

    • KidV says:

      I have different reactions to naturally occurring MSG and MSG added to foods. With natural occurring, my hands swell and I retain water, not a big deal, but it all depends on the amounts. With MSG added to foods, my hands still swell, but my heart also starts pounding and I get a headache that feels like the top of my head is going to pop off. Sometimes I can get short of breath and just feeling spacey. But, naturally occurring can also do that to me if it’s in concentrated amounts, such as liquid aminos.

    • SKF says:

      It can also be temporary with MSG allergies / sensitivities. I have never reacted well to loads of preservatives and additives in my food (we hardly ate any fast food growing up but every time I had Pizza Hut or Dominos I would end up throwing up later that night); but I was never all-out allergic. Then, when I was working at a Chinese-Australian company, I went to a networking event at a Chinese restaurant that, according to my colleague, has a reputation for food with the MAXIMUM amount of MSG possible. I barely ate anything and I was horrifically ill. Extremely high temperature/fever, horrendously painful stabbing abdominal pain for several hours that night. It really felt like someone was stabbing me repeatedly and I cried a lot. Then, for about a year after that, I couldn’t eat any food with reasonably high levels of MSG. I basically had to stop eating a lot of asian food altogether (unless it was organic or guaranteed no MSG). I don’t really eat much packaged or processed food so that wasn’t so much an issue, but cutting out a lot of asian food was HARD. Otherwise I would get a fever/temperature and stabbing abdominal pain again – never as bad as the first time, but still awful. Eventually it sort of faded away and now I’m fine. Basically I think that one time just overloaded my system so much that it couldn’t deal for a while. Eventually it worked out how to deal with it again. I don’t think I ever had a reaction to naturally occurring MSG either.

  3. Michael says:

    I saw this movie with my son on Saturday. I was literally shaking because of the anticipation. I thought something was wrong with me. Some really fantastic beats in the movie. I am going back to watch again ASAP. Packed theater in Las Vegas at 10am tells you how massive this picture is. Also the line to buy snacks was huge. Movie theaters made a ton of cash from this movie

  4. Anastasia says:

    I LOVE Paul Rudd, but the dark dark hair dye is starting to look odd against his skin. He should maybe go lighter.

    That’s all I have. 😉

  5. Kebbie says:

    I laughed way too hard at him “setting up” the clip after it aired lol

  6. Adorable says:

    I’m still blown Away he’s 50!To me he looks like he’s in his late 30s,early 40s..

  7. Splinter says:

    And now I have to google what is MSG.

  8. lamaga says:

    Sorry, an MSG allergy is not real. The concept of MSG was invented to dissuade white Americans from eating at Chinese restaurants way back in the day. There is a savory-salty flavor known as umami but it’s not a specific set of spices/herbs.

    • KidV says:

      I’ll inform my doctor.

    • Busyann says:

      I’m sorry but this is not accurate. I’ve had an MSG allergy for most of my life. Doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was triggering my allergic reaction until I kept a food journal and they determined MSG laden food was the trigger. If I eat too much of it, I will break out in itchy, painful, burning hives on my legs and arms that only diminish by switching to a bland diet.

    • tealily says:

      People can be allergic to anything, naturally occurring or not. “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” is likely made up, but that doesn’t mean people don’t react to it in unfavorable ways, like any other type of salt.

      • lamaga says:

        I don’t think you understand how glutamate works and also the semantic racial history of specifically stating MSG. Are you also allergic to cooking wine? And many other products? Simply put to state that it’s just MSG is a lazy diagnosis. And as for a doctor being correct, I had one accuse me using crystal meth after I had stated I was coming off a beta blocker and force me to take a test to prove I wasn’t. I have never done meth in my life. I’ve also had one be convinced I must be pregnant when I wasn’t. I get that there are tons of allergies out there–I’m sensitive to unnatural dye–but using MSG as a scapegoat in name is inaccurate and does speak to discrimination.

      • tealily says:

        I think you’re replying to the wrong comment. I’m not allergic to MSG. In fact, I keep a bag of it in my kitchen and frequently cook with it. Some people are unable to tolerate salts, though. Dizziness and passing out don’t sound unrealistic to me. I’ve had heart palpitations and dizziness as a result of dehydration in the past, and salt can certainly contribute to that.

        As far as it being an “allergy” and not some other sort of reaction, I don’t know, but I’ll leave it to Paul and his doctor to work out (And yes, I realize that doctors are not infallible, but can we agree that they have a great deal of education and experience that I, and likely you, don’t? Or at minimum, that his doctor examined him which I, and likely you, haven’t?).

    • Susan says:

      While MSG allergies may be made up and more of a mass hysteria, MSG itself is not an invented “concept” lol. It’s an actual chemical compound food product that is added directly to food to give it more flavor. It’s widely available in Asia, you just buy it off the shelf in grocery markets. In that way, it’s no different than salt which itself is just a chemical compound. But it’s certainly not made up or fake in its existence.

    • SKF says:

      MSG is a real thing. It is not made up. It is a widely used flavour enhancer. It has an umami taste but it is not just umami and that’s it. It is monosodium glutamate. For sure there have been various campaigns over time to use MSG as a scapegoat to stop white americans eating in Chinese restaurants; but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Like anything else there is a small part of the population that reacts negatively to it.

      I myself had a horrible reaction to what everyone assumed was MSG (but yeah for sure it could have been something else and it is possible that people are reacting to various things and MSG is the popular culprit, just as gluten is). I’m Australian and have grown up on Asian food of numerous varieties. I’ve also lived in several asian countries and travelled extensively in Asia. A number of years ago I was working at a Chinese-Australian company and attended a networking lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I ate Chinese food allllll the time, as well as Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian and so on. I had Japanese or Vietnamese almost every day for lunch. However this one restaurant caused me to be seriously seriously ill and I had barely eaten anything. It wasn’t food poisoning – there was no throwing up, nausea, or diarrhoea. It was a high temperature / fever and severe stabbing abdominal pains. I couldn’t work out what it was and it was my Chinese-Australian colleague who told me it was probably the MSG as that restaurant was infamous for using way more than anyone else (his parents-in-law were well-known Chinese chefs working at one of the top Chinese restaurants in town and looked down on this restaurant for this reason). I wasn’t sure, nor was my doctor; but for about a year afterwards, if I ate asian food that wasn’t organic or “no-MSG” I again had a temperature and stabbing pains. I didn’t have any reaction to foods with naturally occurring MSG so it’s possible it was something else I was reacting to; but it was undeniable that some combination was triggering something and that it was largely in asian food. It seemed to be foods with high levels of additives that triggered a response. (NB: I don’t eat much processed or packaged food, I mostly cook from scratch, don’t eat much in terms of chips etc., and always reacted badly to a lot of preservatives or additives in food.)

      It gradually faded away and now I have no problems. I again eat asian food multiple times a week, have lived in the Philippines, Thailand and Japan and have travelled in Vietnam and China. I’ve eaten all kinds of food and been fine (happily!) Considering asian food is my favourite food and I much prefer spicy noodle soup for breakfast than any western breakfast, it certainly wasn’t some kind of learned racism that stopped me from eating my favourite food in that year. It was a nightmare! But people react to all sorts of things, it is what it is. I think MSG possibly gets blamed for lots of irritations and allergies to a combination of things.

  9. Busyann says:

    I’m allergic to MSG and it sucks. So much food has it that avoiding it is almost impossible. If I eat something with it, it will take a few days, but eventually I will break out in hives all over my body. I have to restrict my diet any time I get a flare up from eating MSG. It really truly sucks. This makes me like Paul even more.

  10. Case says:

    Food allergies can be crazy. I used to drink wine no problem until one day I tried a particular variety of red that made me break out into hives all over my body. I also used to love steak and can no longer eat it because of how sick it makes me. It’s freaky how these allergies can hit you at any time.

  11. K.T says:

    I can totally believe he had some a food reaction allergy to msg via soup. I also he’d just taking drugs or had too much booze and then exagerrated a story for ‘talkshow-tainment’. So many actors do the press & talk show rounds and so they end up having to tell these tall tales.
    This is not about Rudd though – I’m just cynical like dat! Lol

  12. countervail says:

    It’s unlikely that you’re allergic to msg, since it’s a combination of sugar and glutamic acid, and glutamic acid is present in almost all protein foods. Have you eliminated every meat and dairy products in your diet?

    More likely it’s a type of food commonly associated with msg, maybe an ingredient in Chinese food. But without an actual test and diagnosis from an allergist, diagnosing yourself from random observations isn’t helpful.

    Paul Rudd did not faint from MSG.

  13. Bella Bella says:

    There’s been a lot of pushback in the trans community about Rudd’s tone-deaf comments about reenacting the Spin Me Round video. People are upset. He and Fallon both sound like clueless straight dudes in their conversation.