We’ve seen it happen before. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, Michael Keaton in Birdman. Movies that brought back some of Hollywood’s big hitters and gave them another shot at stardom, with varying levels of success. Since I’m more of a comedy fan, I decided to compile a list of 5 comedic actors I’d like to see make a similar return to the silver screen. I’ll tell you why I’d like to see them back and what I think would be a great movie for them to return in. Without further ado, here are my picks:
5. Johnny Knoxville
To kick off this list, we’ve got someone who’s been kicked in the nuts countless times. It’s Johnny Knoxville! I’ve always been a big fan of the insanely painful stunts from the show Jackass and its subsequent films. And Johnny was always my favorite. As Jackass‘s poster boy, Johnny took the hits like the best of ’em and even managed to carve out an acting career. His credits include The Dukes of Hazzard, The Ringer (a very underrated film), and Bad Grandpa (which is actually quite funny, smart, and sweet, surprisingly.)
Honestly, I think Johnny’s a really good actor. Not too long ago I was fortunate enough to see him in the buddy-comedy-action film Skiptrace, where he co-starred with Jackie Chan. If you’re a Johnny Knoxville or Jackie Chan fan, I’d definitely recommend it. Johnny cracks a lot of zingers and Jackie’s action sequences are solid too. But again, another underrated film. I’d love to see Johnny get a big role that gives him the success that some of the other comedians on this list have received. He’s filmed two movies recently (Above Suspicion, Weightless) and while neither are comedies, maybe these will put Johnny in a different trajectory for stardom.
What I’d love to see Johnny in: Despite the fact that Johnny might be changing course, I’d think it’d be fun to seem him in another film like Bad Grandpa, where the reactions of the people are real, but the events are fictitious. Still, I think I’d most want to see him do another comedy like The Ringer, that mixes humor and romance, and gives Johnny a chance to show another side to him.
4. Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane is not for everyone. His humor is sick, it’s twisted, it’s crude, but you know what? I like him. He’s cheeky, he’s irreverent, and then he does things that are totally out of the box — such as do a few well-received crooning albums. And a Christmas one (which I just happen to own!)
While his televisions shows have been popular, Seth’s transition to film has been a little rocky. Ted was a huge success for Seth. Well, his voice anyway. His face hasn’t proven so successful on-screen. When he actually did appear in a film (it was so nice to finally see his handsome face), it was in the commercial flop A Million Ways to Die in the West. Then, after realizing his voices were more well-received, Seth went behind the camera again for Ted 2. Since then, nothing. To me, all of these movies had their moments and it showed a guy who wasn’t afraid to show a sweet, even corny side amidst all the dirty jokes.
What I’d love to see Seth in: a movie he has in the works called Logan Lucky sounds like a fun movie to get him back on track. The race track! The synopsis on IMDB says, “Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.” It also stars Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, and Sebastian Stan. Looking forward to that!
3. Mike Myers
The man behind Shrek, Wayne Campbell, and Austin Powers. And. . .that’s it. Well, as far as film success goes. Mike tried films like The Cat in the Hat, The Love Guru, and View from the Top, but they just weren’t as well-received as his 3 main men (well, 2 men and 1 ogre.)
Of course, Mike Myers is an SNL giant. His time on Saturday Night was hilarious, and it launched his career into super-stardom. His characters differed wildly, from Simon (who likes to do drawings!) to Dieter (from “Sprockets”) to even Linda Richman (from “Coffee Talk.”) He’s done so much in his career, he doesn’t have to do anymore. Yet, I would just love to see Mike return. As a child, he always made me laugh and as far as Canadian comedians, there was only one person above him (coming up on this list!) With talk of a fourth Austin Powers film and a 5th Shrek film on the rise, I’m getting pretty excited that Mike could come back in a big way.
What I’d love to see Mike in: Austin. Just bring back Austin. And the world will be right again.
2. Jim Carrey
Am I really having to talk about Jim Carrey? The man who defined my childhood with Ace Ventura, The Mask, Liar Liar, Batman Forever, and of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Are you serious? Alas, that is what the 21st century has done to the man of a 1,000 faces. It saddens me to think that Jim Carrey isn’t in the spotlight right now. He should be.
Throughout my childhood, Jim Carrey was everything when it came to comedy. If you asked me who my favorite actor was (before I was really familiar with Johnny Depp’s work), I would have told you Jim Carrey. In fact, I wanted to marry Jim Carrey (and Mike Myers, and Bob Saget, and Rowan Atkinson, but I digress.) I loved men that made me laugh, and Jim always made me laugh the hardest. To not see him in a big, comedy blockbuster is almost criminal. He’s made a couple of films recently (The Bad Batch, True Crimes), but no comedies since Dumb and Dumber To. Like Johnny Knoxville, he seems to be headed in a different direction with his career. I just hope he doesn’t completely move away from comedy.
What I’d love to see Jim in: a loopy, smart comedy a-la Liar Liar, where Jim gets full comedic reign. Liar Liar was so perfect because the writing was sharp, and Jim was able to deliver lines in almost a sing-songy fashion while using great physical comedy to his advantage. I loved Fletcher Reed. Give Jim another Fletcher Reed.
- Pauly Shore
Pauly Shore? Really? Are you kidding me? No, I’m not. I’m going to tell you flat-out. I love Pauly Shore! I first saw him in Son in Law over a year ago and I was never the same. Okay, I was the same, but seriously, it’s a funny movie. It had a good message, and even a surprising feminist slant. I was so impressed, I ended up watching Encino Man, Jury Duty, In the Army Now, and The Curse of the Inferno (why that appeared On Demand, I have no idea.) I liked them all for various reasons, but one thing really stood out to me.
If you’ve ever seen Pauly in at least one of these films (and actually sat through the entire thing), you’ll realize that he never plays his characters too. . .obnoxiously. He’s usually very sweet, quirky, and a little zany. He’s just him, and what I like about him, is that there’s always a swell of pity and empathy that you feel for his characters. Plus, there’s usually a redemptive element to them as well. If he does something wrong, he makes up for it. He’s never purposefully out to hurt anybody; he just wants to have fun. Like a puppy that made a puddle in the house. He was just running around and licking your face. You don’t want to be too harsh on him, right?
That’s why Pauly deserves another chance. Plain and simple, he was funny and he’s been out of a the spotlight for awhile. It would be great if Hollywood gave him the opportunity that I think he deserves.
What I’d love to see Pauly in: a comedy, a-la Son In Law, that allows him to mine his weasel-type character and modernize him. Maybe something a little self-reflective, where he’s having to fit into 21st century. Or maybe, as it’s been hinted at, an Encino Man 2. Either way, I think he deserves another chance at the limelight.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What comedian would you like to see make a big-screen comeback? Tell me in the comments.
See you next time!