Brow Beat

The Mystery of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Height Just Got Deeper, Thanks to Conan

Mystery Show hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ charts just a month after the release of its pilot episode in May, making Starlee Kine the most famous podcast host since Sarah Koenig. The show’s appeal is simple: Each week, Kine investigates a small mystery brought to her by a listener who hasn’t been able to solve it on his or her own. Episode 5, “Source Code,” is one of the most memorable episodes of the first season: In it, Kine takes on the mystery of Jake Gyllenhaal’s height, a surprisingly controversial topic for several years running.

The episode is narratively satisfying but not quite factually airtight. The closest Kine gets to a definitive answer is a pledge directly from Gyllenhaal—perhaps an unreliable source—that he is 5-foot-11½-inches. So when Kine went on Conan last night to discuss Mystery Show and the lingering puzzle of Gyllenhaal’s height, Conan O’Brien decided to put an end to the speculation by bringing out Gyllenhaal himself and forcing the actor to submit to a tape measure.

Sticklers will note that Gyllenhaal was standing with his legs apart during the test, and that O’Brien’s tape measure did not align perfectly with Gyllenhaal’s spine, perhaps rendering O’Brien’s conclusion invalid. But on the plus side, we now have footage of Gyllenhaal standing barefoot next to both O’Brien (6-foot-4-inches) and Kine (4-foot-11-inches and wearing 3- to 4-inch heels), creating more evidence for the case file.