Bill Murray. Christopher Guest. Jim Carrey. Tina Fey. Larry David. Fred Willard. Will Ferrell. Ricky Gervais. Trey Parker. What do these select human beings have in common? That’s right: they’re naturally, balls-to-the-wall, unashamedly funny people. And not just on TV, in films, or on the stage during stand-up routines, but all-together hilarious. They feel funny to their very cores, and no matter what it is they do or say, it’s always – at the very least – amusing.
Many great comedians don’t inhabit the gift of funny quite like that, but it’s enough that they know how to be funny when they need to be. And that’s the most basic requirement of a comedy actor, isn’t it? Be funny, and make the audience laugh. And yet somehow a whole bunch of people have slipped based the hilarity censors and have launched successful “comedy” careers in the movies, despite remaining painfully unfunny in almost every way. How have these select few managed such a feat? Your guess is as good as ours. Here’s our picks for 10 comedy actors who have never been funny.
10. Vince Vaughn
Don’t get me wrong: Vince Vaughn can play likable successfully enough and has been in his fair share of funny movies, but ask yourself a couple of questions. Have those movies ever been particularly funny because of him? Could somebody else have been cast instead? Uh-huh. I’m not suggesting the man hasn’t ever delivered a funny line or made anybody laugh, because, hey, even normal people do that when they’re at work goofing around at lunch or by the water cooler (if that even does happen).
So stating Vince Vaughn isn’t capable of “saying something amusing” would be both obtuse and inaccurate. As far as leading man comedy actors go, though, Vaughn just isn’t up to standard, nor is he a particularly fun person to spend 90 minutes laughing along with. The thought of even going for a beer with Vaughn doesn’t even seem that appealing. I mean, he’s usually set on delivering his dialogue cues with the same, blunt drollness, leaving audiences to straddle that uncomfortable line between “not really liking this guy” and “this guy is all right, I guess.” He’s just kind of… without identity. And isn’t that probably the worst trait that a comedy actor can inhabit?
This article was first posted on January 2, 2013