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Face-Off: Jim Carrey vs. Steve Carell

Mar. 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?
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9:19PM on 03/14/2013
This FACE-OFF was too easy to predict....Carrey easily won, with both hands tied behind his back and a blind fold around his eyes. Carrey has the better career at this point. Not saying Steve Carrell is a bad actor...but in the grand scheme of things...Steve is still kind of new.
This FACE-OFF was too easy to predict....Carrey easily won, with both hands tied behind his back and a blind fold around his eyes. Carrey has the better career at this point. Not saying Steve Carrell is a bad actor...but in the grand scheme of things...Steve is still kind of new.
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2:23PM on 03/14/2013
Interesting that it's carrey by a landslide, outside of eternal sunshine... never really bought carrey as a dramatic actor, than again, carells dramatic range just seems to be playing things really low key. I guess since both have chops, nostalgia is winning out a little.
Interesting that it's carrey by a landslide, outside of eternal sunshine... never really bought carrey as a dramatic actor, than again, carells dramatic range just seems to be playing things really low key. I guess since both have chops, nostalgia is winning out a little.
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12:58PM on 03/14/2013

Carrey for sure.

Just the fact that Carrey will be in Kick Ass 2 and Carell was in Evan Almighty and Get Smart gives Carrey a big edge here.
Just the fact that Carrey will be in Kick Ass 2 and Carell was in Evan Almighty and Get Smart gives Carrey a big edge here.
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4:04PM on 03/14/2013
Get Smart wasn't THAT bad, was it? (Haven't watched it since it was in theaters)
Get Smart wasn't THAT bad, was it? (Haven't watched it since it was in theaters)
12:44PM on 03/14/2013
This was a good Face-Off! Both make me laugh hard, but I have to give it to Jim Carrey. A man that has made me laugh since my childhood, and a fellow Canadian, too! Jim is the man!
This was a good Face-Off! Both make me laugh hard, but I have to give it to Jim Carrey. A man that has made me laugh since my childhood, and a fellow Canadian, too! Jim is the man!
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+9
12:28PM on 03/14/2013

No duh.

Dumb and Dumber might be the funniest movie of all time.

Dumb and Dumber might be the funniest movie of all time.

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+10
12:23PM on 03/14/2013

Quotes

You missed one of Carey's most notable if not the most notable quote of all time by him... ALLLLLLLRIGHTY THEN!
Jim Carey all the way, plenty of In Living Color to add to this as well.
You missed one of Carey's most notable if not the most notable quote of all time by him... ALLLLLLLRIGHTY THEN!
Jim Carey all the way, plenty of In Living Color to add to this as well.
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12:05PM on 03/14/2013

who`s my favorite r u serious ?


Jim carrey no contest steve carrel is a hack compared to kim jim had over a decade of memorable movie roles under his belt

Jim carrey no contest steve carrel is a hack compared to kim jim had over a decade of memorable movie roles under his belt
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11:51AM on 03/14/2013

Dare I say it...?

Jim is one of the all-time greats. There. Thumb me down like you guys always do, haha... but I gotta say, that fuckin' scene in Bruce Almighty when Steve is doing the gibberish news is THE funniest thing I've ever seen from either actor. I still almost cry every time I see it.
Jim is one of the all-time greats. There. Thumb me down like you guys always do, haha... but I gotta say, that fuckin' scene in Bruce Almighty when Steve is doing the gibberish news is THE funniest thing I've ever seen from either actor. I still almost cry every time I see it.
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10:31AM on 03/14/2013

Lloyd Christmas

Only one of them is Lloyd Christmas. He who played that role wins this face off.
I know, i know, it's unfair... but that's how it has to be.
Only one of them is Lloyd Christmas. He who played that role wins this face off.
I know, i know, it's unfair... but that's how it has to be.
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8:59AM on 03/14/2013
Damn this a tough one as both are hilarious in comedies & very serious in dramas. Because he as been around longer I would have to pick Jim Carrey. Anyone see him on Letterman last night with those giant feet & angel wings? Classic Carrey & it seems he is coming back in a huge way!
Damn this a tough one as both are hilarious in comedies & very serious in dramas. Because he as been around longer I would have to pick Jim Carrey. Anyone see him on Letterman last night with those giant feet & angel wings? Classic Carrey & it seems he is coming back in a huge way!
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8:38AM on 03/14/2013
Talent and Veteran wise, Agreed. Jim definitely has a lot of talent and his films have been a large part of my life, but I'll go with Steve Carell now because every time I met Jim Carrey he was the biggest duche bag. So disappointing when you love someone's work and they look at you like you're below them. So disappointed, fuck.
Talent and Veteran wise, Agreed. Jim definitely has a lot of talent and his films have been a large part of my life, but I'll go with Steve Carell now because every time I met Jim Carrey he was the biggest duche bag. So disappointing when you love someone's work and they look at you like you're below them. So disappointed, fuck.
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7:47AM on 03/14/2013
Jim without question. I like Steve but he doesn't have the range that Jim does.
Jim without question. I like Steve but he doesn't have the range that Jim does.
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+3
7:19AM on 03/14/2013

Great match!

Two of my favorite comedians and I would give the edge to Carrey as well.
Two of my favorite comedians and I would give the edge to Carrey as well.
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6:37AM on 03/14/2013
Jim Carrey for me.
Jim Carrey for me.
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6:32AM on 03/14/2013
Face-off should have been between Jim carrey Vs Eddie murphy or Will ferrell.i also like steve carrell.i think Jim carrey is the greatest comedian after Charlie chaplin and Buster keaton
Face-off should have been between Jim carrey Vs Eddie murphy or Will ferrell.i also like steve carrell.i think Jim carrey is the greatest comedian after Charlie chaplin and Buster keaton
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5:25AM on 03/14/2013
Jim Carrey's performance in The Truman Show was completely magical. I think he really has a great range, and he actually knows how to rein the mugging in. He wasn't bad in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which allows him to be the craziest he's been in the while, but it's always the Truman Show for me. It seems like he'll put in a very different, very strong comedic performance in Kick-Ass 2, if the trailer is anything to go by. I like Steve Carell a lot too, one of my favourite of his
Jim Carrey's performance in The Truman Show was completely magical. I think he really has a great range, and he actually knows how to rein the mugging in. He wasn't bad in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which allows him to be the craziest he's been in the while, but it's always the Truman Show for me. It seems like he'll put in a very different, very strong comedic performance in Kick-Ass 2, if the trailer is anything to go by. I like Steve Carell a lot too, one of my favourite of his performances is as the strait-laced therapist in Hope Springs, where he very nearly steals the show from Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep by playing a character which not much of a sense of humour.
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+21
2:50AM on 03/14/2013

Tie in Dramatic range?

Carrelll hasn't reached anything with in the heights of Truman or Kaufman.
Carrelll hasn't reached anything with in the heights of Truman or Kaufman.
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2:25AM on 03/14/2013

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey wins it. The guy has been around longer and is more of an icon of comedy than Carrell is at the moment. I'm a huge fan of both guys and both guys are great at their crafts (comedy/drama), but Carrey has just established himself with so many more iconic, classic characters. From Lloyd Christmas to Ace Ventura to the Mask to Truman to the Cable Guy to the Riddler to etc. I'm not saying Carrell won't be there when all is said and done, but Carrey gets the win over establishment and
Jim Carrey wins it. The guy has been around longer and is more of an icon of comedy than Carrell is at the moment. I'm a huge fan of both guys and both guys are great at their crafts (comedy/drama), but Carrey has just established himself with so many more iconic, classic characters. From Lloyd Christmas to Ace Ventura to the Mask to Truman to the Cable Guy to the Riddler to etc. I'm not saying Carrell won't be there when all is said and done, but Carrey gets the win over establishment and veteranship.

He has also given two of my favorite underrated performances of all time with The Cable Guy and The Riddler. He was darkly brilliant in both roles and was easily the best part about Batman Forver. He played the perfect Edward Nigma/Riddler. The man has great range from each one of his films and is fearless.
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1:03PM on 03/14/2013
Definitely agree that the Riddler was a very underrated role of his. He was such a great pick for that role.
Definitely agree that the Riddler was a very underrated role of his. He was such a great pick for that role.
+4
2:16AM on 03/14/2013
Wow, this is a tough call. Good match-up. But yeah, I think I'd have tip the scale just slightly to Carrey as well.

If you don't believe Jim Carrey is a quality dramatic actor, Eternal Sunshine is the only movie you need to see to convince you otherwise.
Wow, this is a tough call. Good match-up. But yeah, I think I'd have tip the scale just slightly to Carrey as well.

If you don't believe Jim Carrey is a quality dramatic actor, Eternal Sunshine is the only movie you need to see to convince you otherwise.
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+7
1:59AM on 03/14/2013

Who knew Ace Ventura had it in him?

THIS GUY...

I grew up watching In Living Color and I used to tell everyone that would listen that one day Jim Carrey would be a huge star and he'd be a great dramatic actor as well. The basis for my theory? Jim Carrey was frakkin' hilarious and if you can do comedy that well and that easily, drama ain't nothing to ya.
THIS GUY...

I grew up watching In Living Color and I used to tell everyone that would listen that one day Jim Carrey would be a huge star and he'd be a great dramatic actor as well. The basis for my theory? Jim Carrey was frakkin' hilarious and if you can do comedy that well and that easily, drama ain't nothing to ya.
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1:54AM on 03/14/2013
Watch Dumb and Dumber and Eternal Sunshine back to back an you'll see some of the best range from an actor in the last 20 years. Jim Carrey ALL THE WAY!
Watch Dumb and Dumber and Eternal Sunshine back to back an you'll see some of the best range from an actor in the last 20 years. Jim Carrey ALL THE WAY!
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1:46AM on 03/14/2013

Jim Carrey all the way

nothing against Carell but Carrey has been around longer and created more iconic characters.

As for quotes
"If im not back in five minutes, wait longer" - Ace Venture
"Smite me oh mighty smiter!" - Bruce Almighty
(when asked the true meaning of christmas) "Vengeance! I mean... presents... I suppose" - The Grinch
"Thats because you have big jugs. I mean, your boobs are huge. I mean, I want to squeeze them... mama" - Liar Liar
"Do you feel bad at all letting Leo DiCaprio drown while you
nothing against Carell but Carrey has been around longer and created more iconic characters.

As for quotes
"If im not back in five minutes, wait longer" - Ace Venture
"Smite me oh mighty smiter!" - Bruce Almighty
(when asked the true meaning of christmas) "Vengeance! I mean... presents... I suppose" - The Grinch
"Thats because you have big jugs. I mean, your boobs are huge. I mean, I want to squeeze them... mama" - Liar Liar
"Do you feel bad at all letting Leo DiCaprio drown while you were floating on that big door?" - Bruce Almighty

and i could do an entire top 10 from "Dumb and Dumber"
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1:05PM on 03/14/2013
You get my thumbs up just from the Dumb and Dumber quotes alone, haha. Probably my favorite comedy of all time.
You get my thumbs up just from the Dumb and Dumber quotes alone, haha. Probably my favorite comedy of all time.
2:02AM on 03/14/2013
10. (You can't go in there) "It's ok, I'm a limo driver!"
9. (How was your day?) "Not bad. Fell off the jet way again."
8. "Oh well here, take this extra pair of gloves, my hands are starting to get a little sweaty."
7. "We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!"
6. "I got robbed by a sweet old lady on a motorized cart. I didn't even see it coming."
5. "Excuse me. Could you tell me how to get to the medical school? I'm supposed to be giving a lecture in 20 minutes, and my
10. (You can't go in there) "It's ok, I'm a limo driver!"
9. (How was your day?) "Not bad. Fell off the jet way again."
8. "Oh well here, take this extra pair of gloves, my hands are starting to get a little sweaty."
7. "We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!"
6. "I got robbed by a sweet old lady on a motorized cart. I didn't even see it coming."
5. "Excuse me. Could you tell me how to get to the medical school? I'm supposed to be giving a lecture in 20 minutes, and my driver's a bit lost."
4. "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."
3. "You'll have to excuse my friend. He's a little slow. The town is back *that* way."
2. "Mary... I desperately wanna make love to a school boy."
1. "Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?"
1:29AM on 03/14/2013

Jim

This was a tough one for me, because Carrey's been slumming it a bit lately (the last film I enjoyed him in being Yes Man in 08) while Carell has been keeping himself involved with relative hits (The Office and Crazy Stupid Love being forefront in my mind).
However, I think Jim wins the dramatic side for Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine alone. And when you take into account his golden comedic history (Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar) and arguably bright future (Kick-Ass 2, Dumb and Dumber
This was a tough one for me, because Carrey's been slumming it a bit lately (the last film I enjoyed him in being Yes Man in 08) while Carell has been keeping himself involved with relative hits (The Office and Crazy Stupid Love being forefront in my mind).
However, I think Jim wins the dramatic side for Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine alone. And when you take into account his golden comedic history (Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar) and arguably bright future (Kick-Ass 2, Dumb and Dumber To and Burt Wonderstone, where I hear he's a scene-stealing hit), I can't ignore Jim's constant ability to keep things interesting, even when he's barely putting forth an effort. Carrey wins for me.
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12:48AM on 03/14/2013

Steve Carell

Jim Carrey never really convinced as a dramatic actor, IMO, except in MAN ON THE MOON. Carell, on the other hand, has brought his A game to every role he's taken even when the project wasn't all that great.
Jim Carrey never really convinced as a dramatic actor, IMO, except in MAN ON THE MOON. Carell, on the other hand, has brought his A game to every role he's taken even when the project wasn't all that great.
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9:05AM on 03/14/2013
Yeah, I did. Every time he started crying, he looked like he was mugging for a laugh.
Yeah, I did. Every time he started crying, he looked like he was mugging for a laugh.
9:02AM on 03/14/2013
DID you NOT see The Truman Show?
DID you NOT see The Truman Show?
+16
12:36AM on 03/14/2013
Jim Carrey for his dramatic roles over Steve's. The guy should have been nominated at least twice for Truman and man on the moon
Jim Carrey for his dramatic roles over Steve's. The guy should have been nominated at least twice for Truman and man on the moon
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