As I watched Mike Myers embarrass himself in The Love Guru, I thought to myself “What was he thinking?” Granted, this was probably an ego project and Myers didn’t necessarily have me and my comedic sensibilities in mind when he wanted to get this flick made. But it brings up a valid question. How do these characters get created? What process of lying to one’s self must one go through to convince themselves that this woefully undeveloped (stereotypical; controversial; uninteresting) character drove the filmmakers to say “Now that’s a fabulous idea.” Here’s 7 examples of what I’m talking about:
Mike Myers as Goldmember in Austin Powers in Goldmember
Let’s start our list with the Guru himself, Myers. He had already tested the limits with such comedic creations as Fat Bastard and Mini-Me, but the nemesis in the third Powers installment takes the cake. He’s a Dutch criminal mastermind? With a certain degree of freakyness? I mean not only did we not take this character seriously but apparently Myers got the idea for the character by watching an episode of HBO’s Real Sex. Good start.
Dan Aykroyd in Caddyshack II
Being told you have to replace Bill Murray in one of his signature roles could not have been an easy task for Dan Aykroyd. Granted, he wasn’t the same character, but we all knew his character played the same role as Murray’s. But, I just don’t get it, this was what, 1988? Aykroyd was a successful comedic actor, what was he doing in this film? What was Jackie Mason doing in this film?
Ben Affleck in Gigli and Surviving Christmas
Holy crow, do you remember how overexposed Affleck was during those J. Lo years? I almost felt bad for how much flack the man took (if it weren’t for the fact that he took home millions for Daredevil and a hefty paycheck for Paycheck). This was when Affleck decided “hey, I’m funny” and starred in two of the most ridiculous comedic efforts I’ve ever seen. Forget Forces of Nature bad. Gigli was the most awful movie, and I know this because my friend Adam loves this film, and he bought me Dead Silence for my birthday last year. It’s inexcusably bad, but I mostly blamed Martin Brest for that. But within a calendar year out came Surviving Christmas, a WACKY, ZANY comedy pitting Affleck against an equally horrifying James Gandolfini. No, no, no. He should stick to directing depressing films and delivering lines that Kevin Smith and Matt Damon put in his mouth.
Roseanne Barr in Look Who’s Talking Too
Look Who’s Talking with Bruce Willis was cheesy but fun. I enjoyed Travolta and his over-expressive face. It was a cute flick. This sequel upped the ante by putting a microphone in front of Roseanne Barr’s face so she could shriek and irritate me to within an inch of my young, pure, never-tried-alcohol-but-probably-need-a-shot-right-now 8 year-old life. I mean the second sequel featuring Danny DeVito as a dog isn’t much better, but it’s just uninspiringly bad, whereas this makes my skin crawl.
Adam Sandler in Little Nicky
Aside from having a soundtrack that featured the likes of ROCK POWERHOUSES P.O.D., Disturbed, and Linkin Park, this was one crappy character to spend 90 minutes with. Sandler had just nailed it big commercially with The Waterboy and tugged at everyone’s heart-strings with Big Daddy. So naturally, a movie where you play the son of the devil had to follow suit. But what came of it was a big-budgeted, boring disaster of a movie that everyone forgot about pretty quickly. But of all Sandler’s mis-steps this has to be the crowning achievement.
Rob Schneider in all of Sandler’s movies
Related to the previous post, Schneider’s roles are more or less an extension of what a horrible decision-maker Sandler is as a producer. Since Happy Madison took off, how many roles has he given to Rob Schneider. Subsequently, how many of those movies have sucked some, if not all, of my ass? 100%. It all started with the “You can do it” guy, then it became Deuce Bigalow, then Schneider starred in the Sandler produced The Hot Chick and Benchwarmers. And it’s not just Schneider either. Sandler is notorious for putting his friends in his movies. With the exception of Nick Swardson (who saves the film), Grandma’s Boy is nothing but Sandler’s friends hanging around, botching punch lines and getting high. Wish I were Sandler’s friend. I would’ve killed to have a supporting role in The Animal or Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
Most of Eddie Murphy’s career
I was just gonna go with Norbit on this one, but that would be selling the man short. He’s had some extraordinarily bad comedies in his career. For every classic (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America) there’s a massive flop (The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, Norbit, this new one where he has people inside his head, Meet Dave I think . . . it’ll be awful). In the past decade, Murphy has had two bright spots—a dramatic role in Dreamgirls and playing duel roles in the underrated Bowfinger. Everything after Eddie Murphy: Raw is pretty much garbage. And yes, even if #1 wasn’t “Eddie Murphy’s career,” Norbit would still be a good #1 here.
I left off action stars, because it would be unfair to put them on this list since we have no comedic expectations from them. But if I were to put them on it would be these:
Arnold Schwarzneggar—Junior / Jingle All the Way
Sylvester Stallone—Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot / Oscar
I was originally going to do this list as a Top 10, but seeing that atrocious AFI 10 Top 10 List from yesterday I figured y’all were Top 10-ed out. But please, tell me I’m a douchebag if I’m missing some of the comedy in these creations. Tell me I’m an idiot for overlooking this obvious (Pauly Shore, Jim Carrey, Dane Cook, Nicolas Cage, etc.) character.