Slapstick – WTF?

I should hate Jim Carrey. He is everything I normally dislike in a comedian. I hate all the gurning, the prat falls, the mugging into camera, the strangulated voices. I loathe Johnny Vegas on chat shows, who just seems like an autistic chimp let loose. I don’t like Jerry Lewis, I hate Charlie Chaplin. And whenever hyper-manic basketcase Robin Williams comes on screen I want to kick a hole through the tv set. 

But Jim Carrey makes me piss myself with just about everything he does. He’s everything I hate about comedy, but he does it so well I don’t care. I guess he’s the exception that proves the rule.  I know some of his comedy movies are patchy, but he’s great in Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber. He has of course very successfully reinvented himself as a serious actor since The Truman Show, and he was brilliant in Eternal Sunshine amongst others. But at his comic best, usually in sketches, short comic scenes or impromptu chat show appearances, he is hilarious.

The top clip is a classic sketch from his early days on Living Colour, the Fox network’s lesser-known version of the hugely-successful NBC show Saturday Night Live. It’s almost 20 years ago now but it still stands the test of time effortlessly.

The bottom clip is from 1998 and the last episode of the peerless US comedy satire The Larry Sanders Show. It’s Larry’s last show and he’s invited his ‘good friend’ Jim Carrey (played here by Jim Carrey) to come along and say goodbye. There’s a moment about 1 min 7 secs in where Carrey stands up to run into the audience. You can literally see the moment where he flicks a switch in his brain and turns the charisma all the way up to eleven. It’s as if someone has poured rocket fuel onto the crowd.

These days, he seems much happier with serious roles and thankfully he does those very well. But it’s great to remember him as he started – a grinning, gangly tornado of pure comic energy. You wouldn’t want him in the house, but on screen he’s unstoppable.


4 Responses to “Slapstick – WTF?”

  1. nursemyra Says:

    I LOVED the Larry Sanders show especially the episodes where david duchovny “pretended” to be lusting after larry. the canadian satire “The Newsroom” was pretty good too.

    As is “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

  2. charliemingles Says:

    I know nursey. A work of genius. Hank Kingsley has to be one of the great comic creations.

    This guy has uploaded every single episode to his youtube channel:

    If you see him – give him one for me.

  3. daveselectricblanket Says:

    How many pigeons would it take to elevate a man into the sky?

  4. charliemingles Says:

    I dont know: how many pigeons would it take to elevate a man into the sky?

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