Every now and then you find a comedy giant who is so brilliant, so inexhaustibly funny that they can keep producing relevant comedy throughout their career. But most of the time this isn’t the case. Usually they have a shelf life and after a decade or so (if they’re lucky..) they must realise that their place in the contemporary zeitgeist is fading. This is the time where they should hang up their coats, let out a contented sigh and allow the new Ferrells and Rogens to take over. But there are some who – despite the signs – just don’t seem to get it…
Eddie Murphy The man who took stand up comedy to new levels of audacity, and later proved that one man can play an entire cast (The Nutty Professor) has failed to offer anything like his older classics in quite some time. Did somebody say Norbit? No, I didn’t think so. To quote one of Eddie’s own lines in Raw, ‘What have you done for me lately?
Steve Martin The white haired fool who brought a charming naivety to his roles in the 80s and early 90s. But while classics like Bowfinger and Trading Places still hold strong, Steve has hasn’t really done anything good for about ten years. Maybe even longer. We just wish he would stop making those films about his litter of children.
Jack Black Some would say he’s never been funny, but most of us have been amused by Jack Black at some point in his career. Perhaps when he was half of Tenacious D, the band who produced The Best Song in The World. Or when he took high school musicians by storm in School of Rock. Maybe even his more serious role in Margot at The Wedding. But he’s losing it, and that crazy, belly baring charm can only last so long. Let’s hope Gulliver’s Travels is the beginning of the end for Mr. Black.
Adam Sandler Sandler has always managed to triumph on both sides of the absurdist threshold. Somewhere between funny and ridiculous is Sandler, with a dose of impulsive violence for good measure. We might still remember Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer with some fondness, but after Mr. Deeds and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, it seems like he’s past his due. Stop while you’re ahead Sandler. Just stop!
Hugh Grant The endearing ditherer and once chucklesome Oxford graduate who gave a face to stuttering British charm. At least, we’d like to think. But Four Weddings and A Funeral was a long time ago, as was Notting Hill, and everything since has basically been a rehash of the same role.
The Entire Cast of Friends While many of the cast of friends have managed to establish careers as film actors, many have faded into obscurity or settled for inoffensive Rom Com tosh. Matthew Perry is still on drugs for all we know, while Joey is now settling for a self-effacing role as himself in BBC’s Episodes.
Homer Simpson The Simpsons has been running for over 22 years and while it hasn’t quite lost it sting, Homer Simpson might just not be relevant anymore. For the man whose stupidity knows no bounds, perhaps his ability make us laugh does.
Woody Allen It’s astounding that he’s still going, but sure enough, he’s still churning out his comedies as he always has. He has some repertoire, having directed a total of 44 films, but after Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Match Point, perhaps he should stop oggling at Scarlet Johansen and quit while he’s ahead.
George Bush At least while he was in office, we could appreciate the cruel irony of a man so unintelligent in charge of the most powerful country in the world. But now he’s stepped down we rarely see him, and for all we know he’s living with cows on his ranch, talking only in Moos. Surely he would still be funny if we got to see him, but now it seems he’s keeping a low profile, and working on public image. So we’ll have to reconcile our loss by watching youtube cut ups of his most popular blunders.