Funniest Moments of Actors Making Fun of Themselves in Comedies
Say what you will about self-deprecating humor — that s**t’s funny, y’all. Even more so when it’s coming from someone with supposed status and clout because we’d rather hear the rich and famous punch up at themselves than down at us.
After all, making fun of ourselves is, in general, a good and healthy thing. It also tends to make people just that tad less insufferable. Please, then, enjoy this list of actors who not only appeared as themselves in the following movies but did so to poke fun at their perceived personas.
Anna Faris, Keanu
Ah yes, the apparent stereotypical psychodrama that is the life of a Hollywood blonde like actress Anna Faris is on full display here — complete with an insatiable appetite for drugs and, considering Faris’ love for a Scary Movie, some good ol’ murder, and bloodshed to boot. What makes Faris’ cameo as an unhinged movie star, so fun to watch is that it plays against type because they only reveal she’s playing herself after we, the audience, are almost certain she’s playing a character.
Jordan Peele’s line, “Don’t f**king let Anna Faris tear us apart,” is gold in this scene that plays out as a blackmailed drug deal gone so very, very wrong.
Carrie Fisher, Scream 3
It’d be rude not to include this famous scene of Carrie Fisher making fun of her own reputation as Princess Leia in that franchise about stars and wars, so here it is. It’s one of the cameo greats by one of the greats, and we’ll just never tire of watching Fisher throw that sharp wit at whoever has acted opposite her.
Keanu Reeves, Always Be My Maybe
Another one for the annals of classic cameos is Keanu Reeves as a modest-not-so-modest version of himself as he spreads his supposed enlightenment like an anti-vaxxer spreads measles. Reeves really stole the show in this all-around great rom-com starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, all thanks to Keanu taking his public persona to such new and magnificently absurd heights.
Mariah Carey, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew might have one of the best intros of a comedy movie ever, with this opening song featuring about pop stars being oh, so humble, you guys. The song is great (and critically so, too), but it’s all simply a build-up to the actual punchline that sees Mariah Carey — a diva in her own words — connecting with the song a little too well, like it was, in fact, written for her.
Michael Cera, This Is The End
While everyone plays themselves in this bonkers disaster comedy that is now more known for being the last remnants of the memory that is Seth Rogen and James Franco’s friendship, no one was as hilarious as Michael Cera — the actor best known for his sweet, slightly dorky characters who here unleashed the absolute worst idea of himself. From slapping Rihanna’s butt (and getting solidly smacked in return) to blowing drugs straight into people’s faces, Cera pretends to be just the worst Hollywood douche in this movie about how being friends with Franco is everyone's personal Hell.
DMX, Top Five
“Shut up, I’m expressing myself!” DMX yells at his fellow jail mates boo-ing him as he shares with Chris Rock his desire to try something new with his career. And by new, we mean hanging up his rapper cloak to instead sing songs like Charlie Chaplin’s iconic “Smile,” only terribly so.
Debra Messing, Bros
Billy Eichner’s new LGBTQ+ rom-com has a great cameo by gay icon Debra Messing, in which she loses her cool and goes off on a tangent about the gay community constantly bombarding her for advice like she’s actually her sitcom character Grace. Apparently, this was also the first time Messing ever said “f**k” in a movie. Good for her.
LeBron James, Trainwreck
Before starring in that Space Jam sequel we’re pretty sure only a dozen of you actually saw, the basketball player showed off his acting chops in Amy Schumer’s comedy about commitment issues and the blooming friendship between two men played by LeBron James and Bill Hader. LeBron has a running joke about getting his buddy to come to visit him in Cleveland — he was back playing for the Cavaliers at the time — and he cheekily shows off a stingy side in the clip below.
Nicolas Cage, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent
So far, our list has only featured cameos and supporting characters, but of course, we sometimes get the gift of actors starring full front and center as themselves in such a hilarious fashion -- like Nicolas Cage, in this movie about being Nicolas Cage. Hailed as one of the best comedies of the year (by us, officially, here), the movie is scattered with brilliant moments of comedy, and Cage brings out his innermost Cageness. The scene below where his younger, more successful self “Nicky” torments him, however, is a classic case of Cage taking the piss out of his own career in a way only he can.
John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich
You probably knew we’d end up here since all paths apparently lead to that guy, John Malkovich. The surreal comedy is a wild trip into, well, being John Malkovich, and arguably the funniest scene in the entire movie — save for the one that was totally scripted and involved that beer can — is the one where Malkovich finally gets the chance to tunnel into his own head. Man, what a bananas movie.