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Face-Off: Jim Carrey vs. Steve Carell

03.14.2013by: Paul Huffman
In last weeks Face-Off, we rocked a Spider-Man theme by putting Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man outing against its brilliant sequel. While the first film had its fair share of votes, the majority of our readers echoed the articles final verdict that Superman 2 took the cake.

This week, in anticipation of the release of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, we've decided on a match between two comedy icons in the great Jim Carrey against a star from a new era in comedy in Steve Carell. Both men have carved themselves a pretty impressive career in a variety of films, a few of which have even given them the opportunity to step out of their comedic comfort zone. Both have had what a lot deem classics, and both have been involved in what many have deemed duds. If this column has shown as anything, is that some of our readers can be unpredictable as far as their opinions are concerned. So which actor do you prefer? Let's discuss!
Comedy
The Ace Ventura series, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber, Batman Forever, The Cable Guy, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, and more capture perfectly Mr. Carrey's particular brand of comedic performance to entertain the masses. Chewing the scenery in a way only he knows how with the emphasis he puts on some of his lines and his mastery in the art of physical comedy are why we love the man so much. It's hard to pinpoint a favorite role especially where Carrey's earlier roles are concerned, but I think Lloyd Christmas stands as Jim at his best. What's your favorite comedy outing from Carrey?
Bruce Almighty (in which he stole a couple scenes), Anchorman, 40 Year Old Virgin, Evan Almighty, Get Smart, Date Night, Dinner for Schmucks, and his animated outings like Over the Hedge, Horton Hears a Who, and Despicable Me. Carell's style of comedy is of course a bit more laid back than that of his opponents, but he has just as much presence if you ask me. All in what you appreciate. Anchorman and 40 Year Old Virgin especially, with his brilliantly naive to the world of human boinging performance, up there with the great comedies. And he seems to be getting back to greatness with his return to Anchorman.
Dramatic Range
The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, The Majestic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Number 23, I Love You Phillip Morris. These are the films that have shown us a different sign of the off the wall Jim Carrey, a tame side, a soft side, a side that is pretty damn impressive. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind especially, this stands as one of my favorite films period and Jim Carrey was ten kinds of brilliant in the film, who knew Ace Ventura had that sh*t in him?
Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life, Crazy Stupid Love, and most recently Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. What I've noticed is that Carell has shown us his dramatic range in films that had more of a balance between comedy and drama than that of a lot of Carrey's dramatic efforts and Carell has been equally impressive. Most recently a performance that has impressed me is in the under the radar Seeking a Friend for the End of the World...sweet with comedic levity, and the last scene Carell and Knightly managed to make heartbreaking.
Character Quotes
"LOOO-HOOO-ZUH-HER!" - Ace Ventura

"The first time I set eyes on Mary Swanson, I just got that old fashioned romantic feeling where I'd do anything to bone her." - Dumb & Dumber

"Somebody stop me!" - The Mask

"Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big black bat?" - Batman Forever

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night." - The Truman Show

"Sand is overrated. It's just tiny, little rocks." - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

"Love sure is a funny thing. Makes you happy, makes you sad, makes you do all sorts of things you never thought you'd do before. In fact, love's the reason I'm laying here dying." - I Love You, Phillip Morris

Let's make this interactive, if you disagree with me awarding Carell this category...throw some of your favorite quotes from the man in your comment that make you feel he should have gotten the check.
"That's what she said." - The Office

"I do the cha-cha like a sissy girl. I like-a do da cha-cha." - Bruce Almighty

"Yooooooooow, Kelly Clarkson!" - 40 Year Old Virgin

"I ate fiberglass insulation. It wasn't cotton candy like the guy said... my tummy itches." - Anchorman

"Where are they? I will *kill* those little fuckers!" - Little Miss Sunshine

"I have loved her even when I hated her... only married couples'll understand that one..." - Crazy Stupid Love

"I... am madly in love with you, Penny. You're my favorite, favorite thing." - Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Alright look, since I only have so many quotes I can submit I think I'll just come out and say that all of Steve Carell's years on the brilliantly written remake of the Office give him the edge in this category. Steve's been given years to rake up some memorable Michael Scott lines that fans of the show have been able to enjoy.
Overall
Jim Carrey has been reducing me to tears for years, mostly tears of laughter with some brought out by heart-wrenching moments which is not the first man you think of when the latter is brought up. He has numerous films that I can never get tired of re-visiting and some duds that I prefer never to witness again, but even in those films his presence has improved said duds. When it comes down to it, although I've enjoyed the sh*t out of most of Carell's work, fond childhood memories of Carrey's comedy have to win out here. Jim's slapstick style has always been a bit more up my alley. Now bring on Kick Ass 2.
Steve Carell has made a hell of a name for himself in a handful of great films. He has embodied a memorable character for all the people that have given it a chance as Michael Scott in the Office, and hasn't slowed down from there. He has his own style of comedy that has made him lovable, and like Carrey has churned out great dramatic moments in his own right. Carell has some interesting projects coming up that seem like they will dive more into the range we all know Carell truly has, plus an Anchorman sequel. Perhaps Carell will make for more surprises into what our diverse collection of schmoes prefer.
Jim Carrey
So there you have it folks, Carell is good enough to put up a hell of a fight but I don't think Carrey can be knocked off his comedic throne just yet. Do you agree? Strike back!

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which actor is your favorite?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

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