Actor: July 2008 Archives

This is another guy that doesn't get nearly the press that he should. Sure, his work isn't exactly Wes Anderson films and he's pretty much got to rely on Adam Sandler for work, but people should recognize him as a good actor because he is a good actor. And he wrote creative, smart, funny sketches for Saturday Night Live. Take a look at his resume.

Forget about Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (although I'd argue that DB: EG is still better than 75% of the crap released weekly these days) for a second. Rob Schneider was the glue that held the early 90s cast of Saturday Night Live together. Think about Sensitive Naked Man. Who else could have pulled that character off? David Spade? Not the king of sarcasm. Adam Sandler? No, he was a less easily thrown off version of Jimmy Fallon. No, Rob Schneider was the only one who could have pulled it off. He was by far the most versatile member of that cast (save for the late, great Phil Hartman, but he's more closely aligned with the prior cast). How about Tracy, the girl that worked at the Donut Hut in the "Gap Girls" sketches? Or one of the "Bellisima" waiters? The "You Like-a The Juice" guy?

If you're thinking, "Come on! He was that Richard guy with the 'Making Copies' sketch. That was so lame," it might be a good idea take a trip into the wayback machine and look at yourself from 15 years ago because I\it's a pretty sure bet you were one of the millions of people doing a lousy impression of him. It's OK. Come to terms with it. Own it. Because it was funny as fuck. And it still holds up today.

Here's another thing: This guy never broke character on SNL, unlike today's cast, which giggles and guffaws with every minor slip up. Hey, newsflash 2007-8 SNL cast: The material isn't that funny. We're not laughing, so why the hell are you? It's all Jimmy Fallon, who opened the door to laughing like an idiot in every sketch. He could barely hold it together in a scene. Rob Schneider was and is a professional, and that should count for something. UR: -17.5

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Everyone knows him when they see him: hanging bulldog jowls, troll-like stature, male pattern shiny bald head. Not a whole lot of people know him by name. He's Wallace Shawn, and while he was busy lisping his way through The Princess Bride, he was "incon-theeve-ably" putting together a career as one of Hollywood's most recognizable character actors.

He played Diane Keaton's ex-husband in Manhattan (arguably Woody Allen's best film), the sarcastic debate teacher Mr. Hall in 1995's Clueless, and the diabolical Vizzini in The Princess Bride. His voice over career includes both Toy Stories, Monsters, Inc and The Incredibles. Wherever there's work to be done, Wally Shawn pops up. He's like a smaller, not quite as sweaty Meat Loaf.

But his piece-de-resistance was 1981's My Dinner With Andre, a semi-autobiographical piece written with Andre Gregory and directed by Louis Malle, that features him and Gregory dining and discussing the latter's recent exploits around the world. It's a film snob's wet dream, thought-provoking and smart without pretense. UR: -22

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The Book


The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesome Underappreciated Stuff
by Geoff Wolinetz,
Nick Jezarian,
and Josh Abraham

Published by
Citadel/Kensington Books.
On sale June 24, 2008.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Actor category from July 2008.

Actor: August 2008 is the next archive.

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