Top 10 Actors Who Started Their Careers as Stand-Up Comedians

Actors all want to be musicians, musicians all want to be actors, and comedians are usually content to be miserable neurotics. The advantage of working out neurosis on stage is that it can be a great training ground for channeling emotion in front of an audience who aren’t shy about giving you instant feedback. In his autobiography, “Born Standing Up,” Steve Martin expounds on the idea of how his stand-up days helped mold him into the actor, writer, and musician he is today. That got me thinking about other stand-ups who’ve turned out brilliant acting performances, and can claim to be Actors with a capital A.

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‘King Kong: Special Edition’ is brilliant yet extended version feels bloated

[rating=3]Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell, Kyle Chandler, Lobo Chan, Thomas Kretschmann, Evan Parke, Colin Hanks, John Sumner
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson; Based upon the story by Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace

The giant gorilla roars in 'King Kong'
The giant gorilla roars in ‘King Kong’

I don’t often like to write reviews for films twice, but for King Kong I was will to make an exception. You see, I actually missed the first five minutes of the film when I saw it in the theater. It wasn’t my fault, but the theater — for some bizarre reason — decided to start the film about twenty minutes early. I, along with dozens of others, were calmly waiting on line for popcorn. Someone came out and said it was starting, but no one believed him. When we all finally learned that it really was starting, none of us were happy.

Regardless, the DVD gave me the opportunity to see the film from start to finish. And generally, when I see a film a second time, it moves faster. I even tend to enjoy it a little more, or things that may have bothered me the first time don’t so much the second. Of course, there are also occasions where the weaknesses seem worse, and I notice more problems along the way.

Read more‘King Kong: Special Edition’ is brilliant yet extended version feels bloated

‘King Kong’

Ever since I was a kid, Kong was my favorite monster movie. I grew up with the 1976 remake, where instead of ascending the Empire State Building the gentle giant climbed the Twin Towers. I soon saw the original 1933 … Read more

Forget Jack Black, the kids are the real stars of ‘School of Rock’

Jack Black teaches music in 'School of Rock'
Jack Black teaches music in ‘School of Rock’

[rating=2]Starring: Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Miranda Cosgrove
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Writer(s): Mike White

I have had the displeasure of watching Jack Black through Orange County and Shallow Hal. So when I heard that School of Rock was winning rave reviews from critics, I struggled with indecisiveness. Should I pay $10 a ticket for a film, that despite starring Jack Black, other critics had found riveting? I couldn’t take the risk. Instead, I waited for it to be available on a considerably cheaper format, the DVD rental. I should have waited longer.

Read moreForget Jack Black, the kids are the real stars of ‘School of Rock’