Side Characters Who Stole The Show In Comedy Movies
Some actors are just natural scene-stealers, especially when cast in a supporting role. Cate Blanchett was a showstopper in The Aviator, Brad Pitt did the most with his 30 seconds in True Romance, and Jack Black was the most Jack Black in every movie featuring Jack Black before he became famous leading man Jack Black. Here’s a list of some of our favorite supporting characters in comedies who, through sheer and unabated brilliance, made it all about themselves.
Jillian Bell, 22 Jump Street
While we all thoroughly enjoyed more of that buddy chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, the sequel to 21 Jump Street (2012) also gave us funny girl Jillian Bell as a uni roommate with a bonkers agenda. Bell is hilarious in this movie as a seemingly conservative student who dresses like a doll and deadpans like a maniac. Here’s a clip of all her “old man” jokes that didn’t make the final cut.
Russell Brand, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Before becoming hugely popular for his shock brand of humor — that eventually led to him jumping on the conspiracy theory train during the COVID-19 pandemic — Brand was still an up-and-comer when he landed the part of Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. His acting was so fresh at the time that it got him his own spin-off film, because everyone wanted to see more of Aldous Snow carrying on about pseudo-philosophies while getting sloshed in British.
Chris Hemsworth, Ghostbusters
The main cast did a great job here, but it was a dorky Hemsworth with his ridiculous glasses who stood out from a side character point of view. It’s no secret that the Aussie actor has some solid comedy intuition (the dude made Thor funny), and we sure wouldn’t mind seeing him do more comical roles like this (geeky glasses mandatory).
Paul Bettany, A Knight’s Tale
Playing English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the movie where Heath Ledger never bathes, Bettany gave a career performance that would see him get proper noticed. Like his character, the actor made sure to capture everyone’s attention, even if people didn’t get half of what he was saying at times.
Jason Statham, Spy
You had to know that our favorite funny action guy would be featured here, because we just can’t stop talking about his scene-stealing humor in every non-serious movie that he does. To stand out among a cast of brilliant comedy actors is no mean feat. We bet it’s because no one sounds funnier saying the word “twat.”
Jack Black, High Fidelity
Yet another movie that managed to put an actor playing a supporting character on the map. High Fidelity, in all honesty, would probably have been a total snooze fest filled with man-whining in the name of “coolness” if it weren’t for the energetic and animated performance of the guy who steals every scene he’s in, in every film he does. This movie would go on to become the precursor of Black's brand: Jamming along to some tune while pulling faces that'd make Jim Carrey jealous.
Keanu Reeves, Always Be My Maybe
It’s not just that it’s Keanu Reeves popping up out of nowhere for a quick bit in this movie — it’s that he completely leans into the enigma people make him out to be, and makes fun of his sensitive nature by crying while eating a steak and listening to cow sounds.
Sam Rockwell, The Way, Way Back
Sure, Rockwell’s Water Wizz character plays a significant part in the movie about Steve Carell being Worst Stepdad material, but he’s still a side character in a story about a severely dysfunctional family and their holiday friends. There’s no denying that Rockwell has the most memorable (and quotable) lines in the movie, not to mention the scene where he teaches kids about the power of Bonnie Tyler lyrics. After all, someone's got to do it.
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Not only did the comedy actress come up with a fresh take on her character by basing Megan Price on Guy Fieri, she also ended up ad-libbing many of her best lines, including that awkward and funny air marshal scene.
Jesse Plemons, Game Night
Playing the most interesting character in this wacky comedy about couples obsessed with winning Charades or whatever, Plemons’ performance here is nothing short of genius as he portrays a divorced cop who’s both enduring and also incredibly creepy.
His awkwardness is a riot, and his character’s reasoning remains a thing to be studied — which is just another way of saying we would like a spin-off movie about officer Gary and his little terrier, please.
Thumbnail: Netflix, Warner Bros. Pictures