07/02/2012 11:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Ted' Movie: One Lingering Question

superman returns

According to the weekend box office report, there's a good chance that you saw Ted. Or, perhaps you saw Magic Mike or the new Madea movie. But most of you saw Ted. It's Monday morning, which means it's time for me to ask a spoiler-ish question about this past weekend's biggest box office hit. So, this week, it's a question about Ted. And to still be hung up on a question about the finer plot points of Ted seems foolish, considering that it's a movie about a talking teddy bear. Still, that doesn't mean that there's not still one lingering question...

Spoiler alert, obviously.

Is Brandon Routh in on the joke?

Sam Jones, of Flash Gordon fame, plays a big role in Ted -- playing himself, an idol to both Ted and Mark Wahlberg's John. At the end of the film there's a montage that explains what happens to all of the characters after the events of Ted. We are told that Sam Jones returns to Hollywood in an effort to resurrect his long-dormant acting career and that, currently, he was living in a Burbank apartment with Brandon Routh. Implying that Jones isn't the only actor with a dormant career.

OK, fine. At this point it's just a throwaway shot at Routh. But then it keeps going. So far as to put a picture of Routh on the screen - wearing his Superman costume -- while Patrick Stewart's voice-over continues on (and on) about how Superman Returns is terrible.

However unlikely, I like to think that Routh is in on that joke. Somehow. Only because (A) it's always fun when a person can make fun of himself and (B) I'd hate to think that an unsuspecting Brandon Routh ducked into the theater this weekend only to discover that he's the butt of a fairly mean-spirited joke, picture and all. I mean, what if Routh happens to be a big fan of Star Trek? He'll never be able to watch The Next Generation again without thinking, Patrick Stewart said some really nasty things about me.

If Routh were in on the joke, I can only assume he, like Sam Jones, would have made an appearance in the film. Because that's really the only way to let the audience know that he's in on it for sure. So this leads me to think, No, he wasn't.

Then again, Ted is a Universal film and Routh has done a lot of work for them in recent years, including Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and multiple episodes of Chuck. So, maybe he was?

(Note: I've reached out to Routh's publicist to get a final word on this question that, admittedly, perhaps only I care about.)

Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. After watching Ted, he kind of felt bad for Brandon Routh. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.