All the Genius Things Jennifer Coolidge Did to Earn Her MTV Comedic Genius Award
Jennifer Coolidge did all the right things when (remotely) accepting her MTV Comedic Genius award last night, shouting out solidarity with the striking writers who provided her with funny lines over the years. “Almost all great comedy starts with great writers,” she said. “I think of the words of Shakespeare where he once said, ‘The play is the thing.’ Well, I don’t wanna put words in his mouth or anything but I think what he really meant was — It’s everything.”
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But Coolidge is just being modest. While she’s had some hilarious scripts to work with over the years, it's her off-kilter delivery from another planet that earned her the popcorn statue. Here are just some of the genius performances that made Coolidge a slam dunk for the award.
Mike White Owes Her Big-Time for ‘White Lotus’
There’s a lot to love about White Lotus, from its skewering of the rich to its deft look at the poison flowing through the veins of loving relationships. But let's face it -- the show never would have become a phenomenon without the presence of Coolidge, who somehow finds a way to bring physical comedy along with pathos. There’s a reason she was the only cast member asked back for a second season.
She Pretty Much Stole ‘Best in Show’
Other than maybe Fred Willard’s dog show color commentator Buck Laughlin, no one brought the guffaws in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary like Coolidge. We could talk or not talk about this scene forever.
She Was Sadistic on ‘Frasier’
Before she was a household name, Coolidge showed up in funny cameos on several 90s sitcoms, including the professional masseuse who wouldn’t rub Jerry down on Seinfeld. She’s even more hilarious on this episode of Frasier as Martin’s ruthless physical therapist. We’re not sure where that accent is from, but we’d like to visit someday.
She’s the One Essential Element in the ‘Legally Blonde’ Movies
Reese Witherspoon herself has drawn a line in the sand — no way she’s considering a Legally Blonde 3 without Jennifer Coolidge. There’s just something about the way that Paulette the manicurist delivers a line that makes us want a hot dog real bad.
She Invented the MILF
What could easily have been a throwaway sexpot role in less capable hands became iconic when Coolidge played Stifler’s Mom in four (four!) of the American Pie movies. The term “MILF” is so ubiquitous now that it’s hard to remember that it didn’t exist before Coolidge seduced us with her memorable turn. Apparently, the role had side benefits for Coolidge as well.
She’s Even Hilarious Accepting Awards
It’s generous of Coolidge to give props to screenwriters who provide her with witty lines, but she seems to do just fine on her own. Her Emmy acceptance speech last fall was gold, full of lines like “I took a lavender bath tonight right before the show and it made me swell up inside my dress.” Try to play her off with orchestra BS? Coolidge is just going to turn it into a cha-cha number. Viva la Coolidge!