Jason Lee became a professional skateboarder in his teens. He segued to acting in his twenties with a supporting role in Kevin Smith's 1995 comedy Mallrats, after which Lee and Smith became buddies and worked together on a number of subsequent projects. Despite appearing in a handful of major Hollywood releases, Lee remained primarily an indie darling, known for his quirky performances. In 2005, Lee took a gamble on the small screen as the star and producer of My Name Is Earl, a hilariously offbeat and successful sitcom that ran on NBC for four seasons. He kept his name in the spotlight by starring as Dave Seville in the 2007 family blockbuster Alvin and the Chipmunks and reprising his role in the 2009 sequel.