Hollywood is such a big place, so many people with big dreams. There’s actors, directors, writers, waitress and producers, all hoping that they can live their dream. It’s hard to keep track of all the movies that are released throughout the year, from the dramas to comic book action thrillers. Although most of the earth’s population loves comedies, they tend to be overlooked when award season or serious movie conversations arise. It seems to become even worse when the Academy Awards and Golden Globes are on. Some actors give incredible comedic performances that can be overlooked by a powerful dramatic performance. Then there are those actors that don’t seem funny but kill it in a comedy and no one gives them their credit where it’s due. Here is a look at some of the funniest and most underrated comedy actors.
9) Mark Wahlberg
One might assume when they hear the name of the group, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch, that they must have been a sketch comedy group. Well it’s not, it was a serious thing. Mark Wahlberg, the younger brother of New Kids on the Block, started out his career much like his brother and had the hit “Good Vibrations” with the said group above. After his music career fizzled out, he turned to a successful career in acting. Mark Wahlberg has appeared in a number of hard hitting dramas such as The Departed, Three Kings and The Lovely Bones. He’s been known to play no nonsense tough guys who can be both ruthless and tender. However, there is another side to Marky Mark, and that’s the wise cracking, pot loving comedian. He’s shown a great skill for comedy in films like, I Heart Huckabees, The Other Guys and Ted. He’s also the executive producer for HBO’s, Entourage, which is loosely based on his life.
8) Alison Brie
Alison Brie came to prominence with her role on the AMC drama, Mad Men, where she played Trudy Campbell. However, she has starred for five seasons on the NBC comedy, Community as Annie Edison. Her role has seen her play the innocent sweet girl next door that tries too hard, but she has also shown her tough girl side. Additionally, she has also appeared in the horror Scream 4 and had a role in the 5 Year Engagement, as Emily Blunt’s sister, as well, she provided the voice for Uni-Kitty in the 2014 animated film, The Lego Movie.
7) John C Reilly
In 2002, John C Reilly appeared in three films that were all each nominated for several awards at that year’s Academy Awards. The films were, Gangs of New York, The Hours and Chicago. He made his film debut in, The Casualties of War in 1989 by Brian De Palma. He has shown impeccable comedic timing in films like Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. One of his most talked about comedy roles came opposite of Will Ferrell in Step Brothers.
6) Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum has made a name for himself in action thrillers such as the G.I Joe series and bio pic gangster films like Public Enemies. He’s also appeared in a number of romantic films such as Dear John and The Vow. In the comedy 21 Jump Street, he plays an undercover cop, Greg, who with his partner, Morton, played by Jonah Hill, go undercover at a high school to catch a drug dealer. The film has received praise and is a critical and commercial success. He also appeared in the comedy drama, Magic Mike about male strippers with Matthew McConaughey. In addition to 22 Jump Street, he will also be co-starring in Foxcatcher with Steve Carrell, which is a true story drama about the murder of David Schultz.
5) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is one of the most accomplished and celebrated actors in Hollywood. He has worked with every major director, including having a long working relationship with Martin Scorsese. He has appeared as Travis Bickle in the thriller, Taxi Driver, he’s played an aging boxer, Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull and has appeared in several gangster films such as The Godfather Part II, Goodfellas and Casino. He is known for taking his roles very seriously and for his method acting. Later in his career, De Niro impressed many in Hollywood by branching out into comedy. He appeared in Analyze This and the sequel Analyze That. He has also received praise for his role in Meet the Parents, co-starring Ben Stiller, followed by Meet the Fockers, and Little Fockers.
4) Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne played Ellen Parsons on FX’s hit crime thriller series, Damages. She was a young and ambitious lawyer looking to make a name for herself. She played opposite legendary actress, Glenn Close who played the ruthless Patty Hews. Rose Byrne has also starred in films such as the Sci-Fi horror film, 28 Weeks Later and recently in crime drama, Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. She has also displayed quite the talent for comedy appearing in Bridesmaids, along with recently being praised for her role in the new comedy, Neighbors.
3) Dave Franco
Dave Franco is a rising star in Hollywood. He’s the younger brother of James Franco, who himself has shown a great range of acting ability from dramatic to comedic. Dave Franco started his career in television, with roles on series such a 7th Heaven. He was praised for his comedic performance on the final season of the medical comedy drama, Scrubs. He played the main high school drug dealer in the comedy, 21 Jump Street and he will be appearing in the sequel. He also appeared in the comedy horror, Fright Night and in the thriller, Now You See Me. Most recently, he has received a significant amount of praise for his role in the comedy, Neighbors, co-starring Seth Rogan, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne.
2) Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is best known for her dramatic roles including, Cider House Rules and North Country. For North Country, she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award. However, she is best known for her chilling performance as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the critically acclaimed, Monster. She received the Academy Award for Best Leading Actress in 2003 for that role. In the last few years, she has branched out into both comedy and television. She starred in the 2011 comedy drama, Young Adult with comedian Patton Oswald and she was a part of the ensemble cast for Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West in 2014. She also had a guest role in the third season of the critically successful sitcom, Arrested Development on FOX.
1) Justin Timberlake
When most people think of Justin Timberlake, they probably think of blond curly hair, loss of innocence, or bringing sexy back. Justin Timberlake has had a very successful music career, including being a part of one of the most successful boy bands, ‘N Sync. He eventually branched off by himself, generating several hit singles. He has also branched out and appeared in a number of films including, In Time, Alpha Dogs and The Social Network. Justin Timberlake has also showed a great skill for comedy, such as his role in, Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz. His comedic talent has probably been best displayed on the NBC sketch show, Saturday Night Live.