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The 9 Most Spin-Off Worthy Comedy Characters

2003's Bruce Almighty was a pretty standard Jim Carrey flick-Carrey made a bunch of funny faces, acted like a cartoon character, we laughed once or twice and hated ourselves for doing so. The film was remarkable for only two reasons. One, despite sucking for the most part, it made $242 million at the domestic box office and, two, a mostly unknown actor named Steve Carell stole every seen he was in.

Based on the ridiculous amount of money it made, we weren't surprised when it was reported earlier this year that Hollywood was planning a sequel to the film. What did surprise us was that they were actually centering the film on Carell. That's right, Hollywood had actually gotten something right! Could this be a sign of things to come? Will Hollywood start spinning sequels off of the best characters in the original films, rather than offering up paired down versions of the originals? If so, here are the nine best characters for their consideration.

9. Sequel to: Office Space
Character: Milton Waddams (Stephen Root)
Why:The vastly underrated Stephen Root and the Milton character that he brought to such vivid life in the first film finally gets their chance to shine. The movie Office Space was inspired by a bunch of animated shorts Mike Judge did in the early '90s that focused on Milton, so a spin-off would actually be coming full circle.
Pitch: The entire original cast returns, though Root is now the focus. Milton, having now had his desk actually moved off the premises, finally flips out and goes on the office killing spree that temps everywhere have spent their lunch hours daydreaming about for decades. Mike Judge is gone but Brian De Palma happily takes the reigns.

8. Sequel to: Big Lebowski
Character: Jesus Quintana (John Turturro)
Why:Because pretty much every single scene that Turturro's Jesus appears in, is a classic. Whether its the dance he does to the mariachi band version of "Hotel California," the point he gives partner, Liam O'Brien, after rolling a strike or the trash talking monologue he lays on Walter and The Dude, if you only have five minutes to get your Lebowski fix in, Jesus' are the scenes you're fast forwarding to. So why not spread his over the top shit-talking across an entire 90-minute film?
Pitch: Maybe he gets caught up in a kidnapping mystery of his own. Maybe he just spends the whole movie rolling strikes and pointing at partner Liam. Either way, it would be hilarious. Dios mio, maing.

7. Sequel to: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Character: Neil Patrick Harris (Neil Patrick Harris)
Why:Around Oscar time everyone starts talking about how "brave" certain performances are. For instance, last year everyone kept saying how brave Hillary Swank's performance as a female boxer was. Actually, pretending to be a female boxer was "a good career move," playing yourself as a hooker-biting coke fiend, now that is some brave shit. Funny too.
Pitch: Doogie & Kumar Go to Sonic
Kumar (the about to blow up Kal Penn) drops the wet blanket Harold and starts partying with Neil Patrick Harris. Now that Harris' career has been revived by that How I Met Your Mother show, there's plenty of money to spend and plenty of drugs to spend it on. Oh, and since we're in spin-off territory, they fly to LA and beat the shit out of the two guys from Dude Where' My Car?

6. Sequel to: Austin Powers
Character: Mini-Me (Verne Troyer)
Why:Because this one should have been in the works long before Verne Troyer's popularity doubled after urinating on the floor of the The Surreal Life house while naked on a scooter in front of Peter Brady. Oh, also, because midgets are funny.
Pitch: Tired of being in Powers' shadow (mostly because its freezing there for a little guy), Mini-Me heads out on his own adventure. He befriends a mute Asian street corner newspaper peddler and a stripper with a heart of gold. Literally-its made of gold and, as such, her pimp, played by Dave Chappelle, is stone cold after the bitch. A Christmas Day release.


5. Sequel to: Rain Man
Character: Rain Man (Dustin Hoffman)
Why:Okay, so maybe it doesn't necessarily qualify as a spin-off if the titular character from the first one is the star of the second. However, the problem with the first Rain Man was that, despite the fact that Hoffman's performance was clearly the backbone of the film, the studio decided to focus the film on the bankable Hollywood star. Lose Cruise, lose that foreign chick who disappeared after Hot Shots: Part Deux and let Hoffman take over.
Pitch: In one, Dustin Hoffman's savant goes toe-to-toe in a math-off with Matt Damon's Will Hunting. In another, Rain Man's math skills are matched up against Forrest Gump's skill of being lucky and reciting metaphors that sound clever but are pretty much completely worthless.

4. Sequel to: Clerks
Character: Jay (Jason Mewes)
Why:Kevin Smith has all but admitted to needing some dough, and based on the mediocre box office reports for Clerks II, it looks like the only kind he's going to have around will be located around his buddy Ben Affleck's belly. Basically, since we know Smith's going to eventually go to the well again, might as well do it right. Jason Mewes, wasted on black tar or not, is hysterical no matter what he says or does and Silent Bob has always been such a head-scratcher that we needed three stitches up top after Jay and Silent Bob Go to Hollywood.
Pitch: Fuck Silent Bob, fuck Dante and fuck cameos by B-Affs. Let's do all Jay, nothing but Jay. Knock him off the wagon if you have to.


3. Sequel to: Wedding Crashers
Character: Chazz Reinhold (Will Ferrell)
Why:His uncredited cameo at the end of Crashers is probably the best work he's put in since Anchorman. Playing the Yoda of crashers, the cameo gave Ferrell the freedom to play a complete lunatic for the first time since his SNL days. In a film full of amazing quotes, "Mom! Meatloaf! FUCK!" might just be the finest.
Pitch: Funeral Crasher (the inevitable title) can even begin with a cameo by Owen Wilson, but not Vince Vaughn, as it would be his character's funeral they'd be attending. Who could possibly argue that that crazy bitch he ran off with in the end wouldn't kill him some day? Or her psychotic brother?

2. Sequel to: Old School
Character: Bernard 'Beanie' Campbell (Vince Vaughn)
Why:We were happy to hear reports that an Old School sequel is in the works, so we don't want to be looking a gift horse in the mouth, but could we please drop the ruse that fucking Luke Wilson was the star of Old School? Why was the least funny, least talented of the three main stars given the most screen time? Would anyone object if Luke Wilson dropped off the face of the earth, and all of his forthcoming roles were split between his brother Owen and his cousin Dwight Schrute?
Pitch: Hey, we don't frivolously kill off Vince Vaughn without good reason or without making it right. Double V is back in Old School 2, divorced and having taken over as the school' dean. The debauchery, needless to say, is full-throttle. You'll still see his parental side, as he gets weekends with his now grade school-aged sons, who can put a damper on some of his partying. But you'd be surprised at how quickly a 6-year-old can learn to work a keg.

1. Sequel to: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Character: Brick Tamland (Steve Carell)
Why:While Carell's news anchor in Bruce Almighty was hilarious, his turn as Brick "I Love Lamp" Tamland might be the single funniest performance he, or anyone else, has turned in over the past five years.
Pitch: The film follows Tamland' rise to become a speech writer for George W. Bush.


Vinnie Penn had his own morning radio show in Connecticut for 10 years, has written for and guest-starred on The Howard Stern Show, and can presently be heard on several different Sirius Satellite Radio channels, the all-comedy Raw Dog channel chief among them. An accomplished writer, he' had two long-running newspaper columns (one on music, the other a humor column), published a best-selling joke book and recently contributed the short story "Diary of a Superhero" to the Contemporary Press Anthology, Danger City.
www.vinniepenn.net
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