It isn't hard to notice that the Oscars tend to be a bit snobbish when it comes to comedies. Though the Academy will occasionally nominate an actor for a headline-grabbing comedic role, like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow or Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, those instances are few and far between, ignoring the care and craft that goes into even the dumbest comedy. Great comedy takes timing, dedication, and often physical performances that are far harder to really nail than a dramatic monologue.
That's why we've whipped together a group of comedic actors who should have gotten Oscars for their roles in some of the most gut-busting films ever released. When you really look at everything it took to pull off these roles, you'll realize that making a fool out of yourself for an audience of millions still requires a healthy dose of craft and talent.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Though The Hangover is technically an ensemble piece, Zach Galifianakis's character Alan is a big part of why it has become a modern dorm room comedy classic. Galifianakis channeled an absolutely relatable and unhinged energy into the character that makes viewers almost recognize him, even though he's dosing the rest of the bachelor party and being tased.
Galifianakis's performance is the perfect example of the secret that all great comedians understand. Good comedians try to be funny, but great comedians remain absolutely serious, no matter how absurd their dialogue or situation.Oscar-worthy?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
When it comes to the most invested comedic performances of all time, Sasha Baron Cohen's Borat is at the top of the list. The mockumentary-style movie takes a seemingly unfiltered look at American society through interactions between Cohen's character and real people. The comedy was able to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, but the performance that drove the entire film wasn't recognized.
Beyond the work it took to create the character, you've got to keep in mind that much of the film involved Cohen interacting and improvising with real people who had no idea they were helping make a movie. Cohen's dedication to staying in character while helping drive the plot toward its most hilarious moments deserved more recognition than he received at the time.Oscar-worthy?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a story about exactly what its name implies. Steve Carell plays Andy, a 40-year-old man who has never managed to lose his V-card. Like most Judd Apatow movies, the storyline includes plenty of wild and irreverent humor, but Andy is more than just a guy who gets his chest waxed.
Surrounded by a cast of traditional "bro" characters, Andy wouldn't have been nearly as charming and lovable as he is without the sense of vulnerability that Carell brought to the role. Rather than a mere nerdy loser, Carell spun Andy into a sweet, empathetic figure with plenty of genuine emotion. While The 40-Year-Old Virgin is undoubtedly a comedy, Carell treated the part of Andy almost like a dramatic role, which made the character not only funnier but also far more likable.Oscar-worthy?
Though Amy Adams has been nominated six times for films like The Fighter and American Hustle, Enchanted didn't get any interest from the Academy. Though we all know by now what a great dramatic actress she is, her performance as Giselle in Enchanted shows some serious all-around acting chops.
The tale stars Adams as a Disney princess who is transported from her magical animated world into modern-day New York City. To pull off the role, Adams not only had to sing and dance but also transfer the energy and style of an animated character into real life without coming across as cartoonish. She managed to pull it off flawlessly while never going too over the top or becoming repetitive. Instead, Adams crafted a sincere, adorable performance and infused her character with enough sincerity to make audiences of all ages fall in love with her.Oscar-worthy?