Who are the funniest people in film?
Funny people are important to the entertainment industry. We like to laugh. It’s that simple.
Speaking of which, Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” opened today and even though I hear the movie leans a little more to the serious side, I decided to present to you the Top 10 Funny People:
10. Ed Helms. He’s been cracking me up for the past couple of years as Andy Bernard on “The Office,” but Helms recently showed he’s ready for the big time in the box office hit “The Hangover.” He’s one of those guys who does best by using himself as a punchline.
Best role: Stu Price, “The Hangover.” It’s a fantastic breakout role. I still think of Andy Bernard when I see him, but that will probably change as he inevitably inches toward A-list status.
9. John C. Reilly. I used to think Reilly was a serious actor. He was in like 15 Oscar-nominated movies in 2004 (I’m exaggerating slightly). But after “Walk Hard” and “Step Brothers,” it was over. He’s quickly becoming a comic icon. He’s like this man-boy who loves stripping down to his underwear for a laugh.
Best role: Dale Doback, “Step Brothers.” Will Ferrell might have been the star, but Reilly is who made me laugh the most. That dining room sex scene would not have been funny with anyone else.
8. Jonah Hill. Here we go with the Apatow gang. I can’t help it; Hill is hilarious. From him buying drag queen shoes in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” to the creepy obsessed waiter in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” … I’m laughing just thinking about it. He’s awkward, yet a smartass. He’s chubby, yet cool.
Best role: Seth, “Super Bad.” I’d love to quote my favorite line of his from that movie, but we’re trying to keep things clean. Instead I’ll say this: penis drawings. Enough said.
7. Jason Segel. He’s been mostly a background player, but in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which he wrote, he is proof you don’t need Apatow to survive. He did better than fine on his own. And you have to give props to a guy who isn’t afraid to do full-frontal nudity to garner some laughs.
Best role: Peter Bretter, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” There’s just something about this guy that I love. His delivery is epic. And the puppet musical is genius. I still find myself singing the song from his Dracula puppet musical (See video).
6. Sacha Baron Cohen. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s a genius. I’ve never seen any other actor live and breathe a character the way he does. And he’s done that three times now. He was hilarious as the gay race car driver in “Talladega Nights,” but “Borat” and “Bruno” were instant classics. Not only does he bring me to tears laughing, he also exposes closed-minded people for who they really are.
Best role: Borat, “Borat.” I watched some scenes today so I could write this blog, and I laughed as much as I did the first time I saw it. The dinner party with the bag of poop and the prostitute – amazing.
5. Jane Lynch. I don’t know what it is about this woman, but she doesn’t even have to say anything to make me laugh. She is perfect as the uptight yet randy boss or dominant lesbian-type. She needs a leading role. Right now.
Best role: Paula, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” A complete scene stealer, she’s foul-mouthed, constantly horny and, at times, plain uncomfortable.
4. Kristen Wiig. Arguably the best thing about modern day “Saturday Night Live,” Wiig has so far been a bit player in film. But she’s attached to a ton of upcoming comedies and will hopefully find her place among comedic greats. She stole scenes from Katherine Heigl in “Knocked Up” and was perfection in her very small role in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” I should also mention her Emmy nomination for “SNL.”
Best role: The Target Lady, “SNL.” So it’s not film, but it’s hilarious. That’s one of the few reasons I still watch that show.
3. Tina Fey. I’d be burned out by anyone else who gets as much attention as Fey. But I can’t get enough. She’s got the Emmys to show what a great writer and actor she is on “30 Rock,” and with a couple movies under her belt, she’s established in film as well. If this were a list about TV, she (and Liz Lemon) would be No. 1.
Best role: Ms. Norbury, “Mean Girls.” Fey not only acted in the movie, she wrote it. And she was pretty awesome at both. Her best quote: “Oh hi. Would you like to buy some drugs?”
2. Parkey Posey. She’s still teetering on that A/B- list mark, but in my world, she’s completely A-list. She’s a member of the elite Christopher Guest posse (“Best in Show,” “Waiting for Guffman”) and has been called the B-Movie Queen. She doesn’t even have to try to be funny and she is. She just knows how to deliver a line. I’d give her an Oscar if I had one to spare.
Best role: ‘Jackie-O,’ “The House of Yes.” I know it’s not cool to laugh at the mentally-ill, but Mom says as long as it’s Parker Posey playing the mentally-ill person, I can laugh. And laugh I do. She not only thinks she’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she delivers one of my favorite lines in movie history: “Were you poor? Did you eat chicken pot pies?” It’s funnier in context. Really. (See video)
1. Paul Rudd. Did you really think the top spot would go to someone not in Apatow’s crew? Of course Rudd doesn’t need Apatow to be completely awesome. He’s been on a lot of people’s top 10 lists since “Clueless.” From the love-sick David in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” to John Lennon in “Dewey Cox,” Rudd is as versatile as they come. And much like Posey, he doesn’t even have to say anything to be funny. He just is. Seriously, who wouldn’t want a bromance (or hell, a real, actual romance) with this guy?
Best role: Pete, “Knocked Up.” I seriously wanted the entire movie to be about Pete and Debbie (Leslie Mann). I could care less about Heigl and Seth Rogen. I wanted more Rudd. But I always want more Rudd.Did You Enjoy this Post? Subscribe to Hollywood Hills on Facebook, Twitter, & Email