Eight Comedians Who Did Serious Extremely Well

Every so often, a comic actor goes through a crisis of faith. Maybe they feel they’re being pigeonholed into roles that involve fart jokes and being hit in the balls too often, or maybe they just want to see what else they’re capable of. Sometimes this can be a train wreck, but for these eight actors, it’s gone pretty well at least once. Here are a few comedians who held a straight face effectively for an entire film.

Adam Sandler

adam-combo.jpg

Why P.T. Anderson chose Happy Gilmore to star in one of his films, I have no idea, but it turned out pretty damn good. As an emotionally stunted businessman in Punch Drunk Love, Adam Sandler made us forget all about his goofy past, at least for two hours. Sandler also tried to be more serious in films like Spanglish (ugh) and Reign Over Me (ugh to a slightly lesser extent), but Punch Drunk so far has been his dramatic tour de force. Now what’s he doing? Bedtime Stories? Sigh.

Bill Murray

bill-combo.jpg

Bill Murray has had wild swings back and forth between outrageous goofyball and serious actor. He’s ventured into drama a few times, with Broken Flowers, Ed Wood, and most noteably Lost in Translation, where he played a rich lonely actor who bonds with Scarlett Johansson in Tokyo, which scored him a Best Actor nom at the Oscars. Only a few other comedians can say the same.

Steve Martin

stevem-combo.jpg

For someone whose career started so long ago, I’m still pretty impressed that Steve Martin is able to sell himself as a leading comedic man to this very day. His brief dip into drama was in Shopgirl, which was adapted from a novel that he himself wrote. Not bad. It was generally thought of as an art house movie, but most thought his performance as a bored businessman was right on.

Dan Aykroyd

dan-combo.jpg

Bill Murray’s Ghostbusters counterpart also scored a big Oscar nom for his supporting role in Driving Miss Daisy. He took other stabs at drama, but they ended up being in unfortunate places such as Pearl Harbor, so Miss Daisy will probably be his most memorable straight role. That’s all well and good, but I’d rather see him crossing streams or dancing the blues than trying to act all serious.


76 Comments

  1. Emanuel January 22, 2009
  2. Rob January 22, 2009
  3. Joe January 22, 2009
  4. Fred January 22, 2009
  5. Matty G January 22, 2009
  6. Matt Zito January 22, 2009
  7. Stormaster January 22, 2009
  8. Dan Fontaine January 22, 2009
  9. Sanity January 22, 2009
  10. ed January 22, 2009
  11. Geoff January 22, 2009
  12. Bannister P Farthington January 22, 2009
  13. Andrew Moore January 22, 2009
  14. Gary January 22, 2009
  15. Dave January 22, 2009
  16. Jonathan Bailey January 22, 2009
  17. chemicalpink January 22, 2009
  18. asdf January 22, 2009
  19. Ben January 22, 2009
  20. Scott January 22, 2009
  21. eli b. January 22, 2009
  22. JC January 22, 2009
  23. JC January 22, 2009
  24. Tartar Sauce January 22, 2009
  25. Travis F. January 22, 2009
  26. Tartar Sauce January 22, 2009
  27. ShingoEX January 22, 2009
  28. Frank January 22, 2009
  29. TheDude January 22, 2009
  30. AJ January 22, 2009
  31. aelight January 22, 2009
  32. alyssa January 22, 2009
  33. Tim F. January 22, 2009
  34. Dan January 22, 2009
  35. Lupos January 22, 2009
  36. TS January 22, 2009
  37. William January 22, 2009
  38. Sean January 22, 2009
  39. Andy January 22, 2009
  40. Don Buer January 22, 2009
  41. Gorla DeFormala January 22, 2009
  42. mussessein January 22, 2009
  43. Jon January 22, 2009
  44. scott January 22, 2009
  45. ariem January 22, 2009
  46. Alf January 22, 2009
  47. James Dean January 22, 2009
  48. Neumahn January 22, 2009
  49. this site sucks January 22, 2009
  50. Madison January 22, 2009
  51. Chris January 22, 2009
  52. Sub-Zero January 22, 2009
  53. MovieNerd January 22, 2009
  54. Cabe January 22, 2009
  55. JOe January 22, 2009
  56. darren January 22, 2009
  57. Fiftyone January 22, 2009
  58. flynn January 22, 2009
  59. Robert Paulson January 23, 2009
  60. doug January 23, 2009
  61. Nic January 23, 2009
  62. Andrew January 24, 2009
  63. Gibi January 25, 2009
  64. Orleanas January 25, 2009
  65. abbati January 26, 2009
  66. Niklas January 29, 2009
  67. Naruto January 31, 2009
  68. economy forum February 5, 2009
  69. Tyler March 7, 2009
  70. Eric April 11, 2009
  71. steph June 29, 2009
  72. Yesspaz September 7, 2009
  73. Bert October 29, 2009
  74. Ty February 23, 2010
  75. madLyfe February 25, 2010

Add Comment