Movie 43 And 14 Other Terrible Projects From Talented Comedians
Who among us can go through life with a perfect track record? Sometimes it’s so easy to see comedians as geniuses who constantly spin threads of comedy gold without so much as a stumble into mediocrity. However, by remembering their failures we humanize them, reminding us that while we all have the ability to be great, we all carry the capacity to fall and get back up. Here are 15 projects from gifted comics that don’t measure up to their talents.
Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
Female comedians sometimes get a bad rap and undoubtedly face harsher criticisms than male comics. Amy Schumer is by no means a bad comedian, Inside Amy Schumer is fantastic, Trainwreck is a good time, and her newest special, Parental Advisory is a fun watch. However, The Leather Special is filled with the “stereotypes” that plague certain female sets by overcompensating with extreme vulgarity and unnecessary sexualization, and the reviews agree (although some are just blatantly sexist). If 30 Rock, Girls, and Bridesmaids, are some of the high points of modern female-led comedy, The Leather Special is a low point.
Grown Ups 2: Adam Sandler & Friends
Whatever the opposite of a “Grown Ups 2 Apologist” is, that's what I am. Now don’t get me wrong, Grown Ups was no comedic goldmine, but with this many legendary comics in one film, the outcome is embarrassing. This film talks down to its audience and caters to the lowest common denominator of humor. It feels like it was written in under a week, with as many fart, pee, and poop jokes as possible. My advice to whoever allowed the film to get all the way to release; grow up!!!
Norbit: Eddie Murphy
Norbit, Norbit, Norbit… what are we going to do with you? The next logical step in Murphy’s obsession with dressing up as different characters is yet again another obese woman. Again, this film gravitates toward low-hanging/ easy jokes with its only redeeming factor being it’s a great movie to hate-watch with some friends. Its 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is pretty generous, especially considering Murphy does the most racist Yellow-Faced performance you’veperhaps ever seen..
Movie 43: Too Many To Count
Movie 43 is a comedy anomaly. With a cast that features Emma Stone, Stephan Merchant, Richard Gere, Dennis Quade, Greg Kinnear, Seth MacFarlane, JB Smoove, Chris Pratt and Anna Farris, you’d think this movie would be an easy slam dunk, at the very least from its star power. However, the writing for this movie is so juvenile and unsurprising, it leads you to wonder why these stars even agreed to appear.
Holmes and Watson: Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly
The long-awaited addition to the collection of films starring comedy powerhouse duo Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, Holmes and Watson seemed too big to fail, until it did. Friends of mine literally left the theater because this movie was so unappealing. Its one-star rating on Rotten Tomatoes is due to reviews like “The entire thing is embarrassing and difficult to endure,” and “Watching this feels like getting elbowed erratically in the ribs.”
Mulaney: John Mulaney
Poor Johnny. Imagine you are ruling the stand-up circuit, you cast your SNL friend and co-worker Nasim Pedrad and comedy hero Martin Short in your new Seinfeldian sitcom on NBC, only for it to be canceled quickly and reviewed as one of the worst sitcoms ever made. Mulaney has moved on from the failure and is back at the mic (where we like him) but his show won’t soon be forgotten. Personally, as a Mulaney fan, my problem with the show was that it just felt so different than his presence on stage, which is most likely due to network pressure. Panned as a Seinfeld ripoff, the show was canceled after 13 episodes.
Saint George: George Lopez
George Lopez ruled the airwaves with The George Lopez Show, a series that lasted six seasons, and would wake you up at three in the morning with the song “Low Rider.” But alas, his attempt at capturing lighting in a bottle a second time with his show Saint George on FX was a dismal failure. With only ten episodes that aired, the show received a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, earning reviews like, “It smells like something that's been tested in focus groups to within an inch of its life.”
The Love Guru: Mike Myers
I really liked The Love Guru when it first came out. Dare I say, I loved it. The problem was … I was ten years old. A few of Mike Myers’s projects could have made the list, but The Love Guru seems to have that perfect mix of juvenile humor, recycled jokes, and Verne Troyer's height being a large focus…again. At least we get to hear Dolly Patron’s “9 to 5” played on sitar.
Bucky Larson Born To Be A Star: Nick Swardson
Nick Swardson was killing the game with successful stand-up, his own sketch comedy show on Comedy Central and recurring spots on Reno 911 before this film seemed to stop his TV and movie ambitions dead in their tracks (aside from the occasional Adam Sandler flick). This movie about a weirdo joining the porno industry thought it could get by on its silly premise alone, forgetting to add actual well-thought-out jokes to the plot. With one of the lowest ratings in Rotten Tomatoes comedy movie history at 3%, this movie is best described as “Not even a series of skits, but a series of vague ideas for skits that nobody fleshed out.”
Miss March: Trevor Moore
The late Trevor Moore was seen as a comedy savant as the ring leader of the cult favorite sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids You know and their IFC sketch show of the same name. While his name is still given the respect it deserves even today, most people choose to remember AROUND his film, Miss March. It's about a coma victim’s mission to win back his former girlfriend who is now a playboy bunny, but the movie just misses the mark of an enjoyable sex comedy, even though “enjoyable sex comedy” is basically an oxymoron. One reviewer said the film has, “Some of the lewdest, unfunniest jokes ever made, and at the end, one feels in need of a stiff drink, a hot shower, and a lesson in selective amnesia.”
Mr. Magoo: Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen was so great at what he did because his stern, no-nonsense voice was so fantastic at conveying…nonsense. His obvious calling to be an incredible dramatic actor was thwarted by his unshakable talent for comedy with films like The Naked Gun and Airplane. Sadly, one film missed the boat with audiences, most likely because he couldn’t see the boat in the first place. While Mr. Magoo is intended to be a children's movie, but critics still felt that it was even too stupid for kids, calling it an “insult to the intelligence of the entire human race.”
Marci X: Lisa Kudrow & Damon Wayans
I found this piece of crap in a Walmart DVD bargain bin for 2 dollars when I was eleven. Lisa Kudrow and Damon Wayans obviously both have what it takes to give incredibly surprising and original comedy performances, but this movie doesn’t showcase any of that. The premise revolves around the relationship that forms between a rich white heiress and a black rich thug rapper, and hilarity ensues (allegedly). It’s got black jokes, it’s got gay jokes, it’s got women jokes, what more could you want from a 2003 comedy with awful reviews?
The Master Of Disguise: Dana Carvey
The Master Of Disguise is made for kids, there’s just no way around it. But even when you’re watching it makes you worry, “is this going to make my kids dumber?” The movie is still visually fun to watch with its bright colors and impressive makeup, but boy would Carvey have been in deep water if it was released today. Maybe it's best we remember this one for the turtle costume and not the full-body Indian makeup and accent while playing the flute to a snake. Fun Fact: The turtle scene was shot on September 11th, which sort of just makes a bad day even worse.
Dr. Ken: Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong was killing it in the late 2000’s early 2010’s era, but it seems like whatever magic was there from when he was discovered has either faded with fame or been ill-utilized for the past few years. He’s hard to watch on The Masked Singer, and his episode of Murderville was arguably the worst episode of the season, due to his inability to commit. The story is the same for his short-lived medical sitcom, Dr. Ken. One reviewer summed up the show perfectly by saying “Its only ambition appears to be cramming as many tropes as it can into 20-odd minutes in each episode: the clueless dad who keeps messing up, his sensible and long-suffering wife and their precocious, wise-cracking kids.”
Zoolander 2: Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson
Zoolander has obviously reached “classic comedy” status. It’s a movie that is perfect from casting to writing, sets, pacing, and satire. But when you make a perfect movie, what are people going to expect when you agree to make a sequel 15 years later? Hyped-up comedy sequels are always a disappointment (Anchorman 2 isn’t bad, your standards are too high), but Zoolander 2 was especially disheartening. Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, and Owen Wilson all appear, but none of them say anything memorable. It definitely falls into the category of sequels that really just say “Hey, remember the first movie?”
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