ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Zac Efron might be whooping some serious ass as he cartwheels into the perilous world of comedy - High School Musical doesn't count, sorry - but not everyone is blessed with the gift of the giggle.

Flawlessly running through a one man show of Hamlet has no correlation with charming chortles out of cinema goers, and some stellar actors have fallen prey to the fickle funny bone of Joe Public.

So, in homage to Zac Efron's valiant slaying of the comedy dragon, let's examine some world class actors and actress who haven't fared so well. Never has the phrase 'If you didn't laugh, you'd cry' been more relevant.

1. Reese Witherspoon

Do you guys remember the time when Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar for Walk the Line? Nope, neither does anyone else thanks to the heinous Legally Blonde.

Witherspoon is a talented actress who has the mettle to slay gritty roles is movies such as 2012's [Mud](movie:216839), but she is forever tainted with the ditzy blond stereotype she embodied in the movies that launched her career.

Witherspoon is by no means a terrible comedy actress, but her overeager, vacant chipmunk face in Legally Blonde has burnt itself into our retinas. That thing can't be scrubbed off no matter how hard we try.

2. Robert De Niro

Watching De Niro in Analyze This is like watching a majestic lion wobbling across a tightrope in a party hat. The worst thing is how De Niro is trying so hard, the poor bloke looks like he is going to have an aneurysm as he strains to wring out a drop of comic timing.

My fist has teeth marks in it from the ordeal of watching the trailer, and I think that says all you need to know, really.

De Niro's career is far too much of a juggernaut to be killed by pesky tours into tumbleweed territory, but his eye-watering roles in The King of Comedy and Meet the Fockers have made him a bit of a laughing stock.

3. Jack Nicholson

Triple Oscar winner Jack Nicholson clearly got bored of owning acting because he became a depressingly damp squib in the realm of comedy. Nicholson becomes a tired stereotype in the majority of his comedy roles, and he manages to look like a dishevelled old bloke on crack while doing it in Anger Management.

It should be a criminal offence for the man who dazzled as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to writhe around in the mire of movies such as Something's Gotta Give and Man Trouble.

Nicholson can slay any role and he has shown he can flex his funny bone with gusto on multiple occasions, but you've got to wonder what he was smoking when he decided to share the stage with Adam Sandler.

4. Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway has the kindly face of a docile young dairy cow that can't muster any of the attitude comedy demands.

The most hated actress in Hollywood scooped up an Oscar for the harrowing role of Fantine in [Les Miserables](movie:204073), but her roles in Bride Wars and the Devil Wears Prada are the real tear jerkers. Just to be clear, we are not talking tears of joy.

Hathaway's caustic overeagerness to please oozes out of her every pore in comedy roles. She is an irritating cross between a puppy on Red Bull and the overeager swot you had to sit next to when you spoke too much in class.

Stick to the period dramas where you belong, Hathaway.

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is only a comedy actor when he isn't trying to be funny. Fact.

Don't worry though guys, it's not all bad news. Comedy might be a cruel mistress but it has also oomphed stalling careers onto the path of greatness.

Sure, he might have been a respected actor, but who the hell remembers Charlie Sheen before his tiger blood phase? Johnny Depp might be one of the most recognized faces in the business, but would he have ever climbed to such lofty heights without Captain Jack Sparrow?

Which other actors or actresses do you know who have fallen prey to the cut-throat world of comedy?


Who has committed the worst crimes against comedy?

(Images: E Buzzing)


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