06/06/2013 01:00 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2013

Michael Cera Is The New Jesse Eisenberg Is The New Michael Cera

"Michael Cera" has been a curse word over the last few years. Parents would wash their children's mouths with soap if they even mentioned, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist." The world seemed to burn out on the Canadian actor's very existence around the time "Year One"/"Youth In Revolt" came out. Michael Cera was the heart of darkness and nobody, anywhere wanted to see him in anything at all.

After "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" didn't do so well despite being well-received, Cera went into a sort of self-exile for a while, letting Jesse Eisenberg take over what many people saw as basically the same schtick. Eisenberg almost got an Oscar and Cera continued hiding in the shadows, letting things like SNL's parody of his giggly persona brush over. But in the last few months it finally seems like the backlash to the backlash has begun. Everyone's favorite prancer is coming back into favor very quickly. It might be finally OK to say the words "Michael Cera" again.

Things started really well for the actor. Although he's actually been acting since childhood, his first real notable role, "Arrested Development," branded him as a likable actor who was part of a beloved/cancelled-too-early show. So when "Superbad" and "Juno" came out in the same year and he was catapulted to the A-list/many people's hearts, people seemed to really be rooting for him. Unfortunately for Cera though, the bubble burst shortly after "Nick and Norah" and since he was pegged as one of the faces of the movement, he went down with the ship.

But he went honorably. He continued doing projects but they were small. He mostly did odd projects like play bass for the indie super-group, Mister Heavenly or be the intercom voice on "Children's Hospital." He even accidentally appeared in this weird music video. Michael Cera became more self-deprecating. He set himself up for the drowning to turn into a baptism. The waters were cooling and he's chilllll now.

This summer he's already seen the return of "Arrested Development" and had a fantastic directorial debut, but the biggest comeback role is probably the trailer for "This Is The End," in which he's shown slapping Rihanna's ass and finally impaled by a large pole. It's self-aware, it's genuinely hilarious, and it's a huge leap forward. Perhaps we will look back and consider the Cera/Rihanna ass-grab the moment a star that was once highly at risk of burning out was truly born again.