SERIOUSLY FUNNY: 24 COMEDIANS WHO PLAYED IT STRAIGHT

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Sad that comedic actors get very little respect – at least in comparison to their brothers and sisters in the profession that choose parts in dramatic productions.

MERYL STREEP is an actor who is equally excellent doing both. But when you have a phenomenal talent like hers, the gifts are limitless.

But would she be this highly respected icon, this elegant force of nature, if she had done comedic work principally instead of mixing it up?

I DOUBT IT.

To some degree, people would still revere her. But she wouldn’t be nearly as appreciated or acclaimed as she is now.

So, considering the reality, I’m grateful that she stuck with the plan.

Almost any performer who you talk to will tell you that comedy is much tougher and far more challenging. It’s all about timing and being able to work effectively with the other actors in the same scene.

It’s an exceptionally difficult, highly complicated balance. Drama is not always easy. But it’s a cakewalk compared to comedic acting.

It’s much more delicate and there are too many opportunities for it to go right off the rails.

Some famous performers had to take serious roles in so called substantial fare before they were fully given their respective due. They’re still known primarily for their comedic chops (even the ones who have left this world) but the dramatic parts allowed them to explore other dimensions. They were able to show the world their range and scope.

No one could ever sell them short after that.

EW has an exceptional slideshow of comedic actors who crossed over to the dark side…and showed the world what they were made of.

All of the performances that I list in this post are monumental. This is some of the best work that has ever been done in film.

This gallery includes…

WHOOPI GOLDBERG – THE COLOR PURPLE

PETER SELLERS – LOLITA

JACKIE GLEASON – THE HUSTLER

MARY TYLER MOORE – ORDINARY PEOPLE

ROBIN WILLIAMS – THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP

For the whole damn thing, please go here

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