Top Ten Tuesday – Lead Comedic Performances That Oscar Snubbed


CameronDiaz_theressomethingaboutmaryComedians can often get a bad rap for not branching out into more serious films.  For years, Jim Carrey was passed over after venturing off, and I’d say quite successfully, into dramatic efforts like “The Truman Show,” “Man on the Moon,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”  Who says that comedians can only get nominated for dramatic performances?  If it wasn’t for the tour de force of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Robert Downey, Jr. would have made an admirable Oscar winner for “Tropic Thunder.”

This edition of Top Ten Tuesday will focus on ten comedy performances that were worthy of an Oscar nomination.  No laughs about it.

Without getting people too angry, and to offer some focus, I will be keeping the list from 1990’s and on. What tends to happen with comedic performances when they are noticed, they are regulated to a supporting nomination.  My list will focus on performances I believe were either worthy or in need of more consideration for lead nominations.  Some of them I would replace any of the nominated from their group, some of which required a little more thinking.

Let’s take a look.

  • Sam Coff

    I appreciate this Top Ten Tuesdays after Jim Carrey got shade for his Staff Awards nomination following Liar Liar.

  • Sam Coff

    …Replace Nigel Hawthorne? Really? REALLY?

    Replace Geoffrey Rush…..oh Clayton say it ain’t so.

    But seriously, awesome selection of snubbed comedic nominees. Many of them make my personal lineup, if not receive my personal win. Nathan Lane is amazing in The Birdcage.

  • Robert MacFarlane

    Here you were, disappointing me, and then you pull out a brilliant #1 choice. I’d add Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski to replace Roberto Begnini’s painfully bad performance, Zero Mostel in The Producers to replace Ron Moody’s obnoxious mugging, and Kristin Wiig in Bridesmaids to replace, uh, anyone who wasn’t Mara or Davis.

    • Sam Coff

      hush your mouth re: Ron Moody’s hilarious Fagin!

      • Robert MacFarlane

        If you’re high.

    • Anthony Moseley

      Roberto’s performance wasn’t “painfully bad” at all, but definitely wasn’t deserving of winning. Though I agree that Bridges should have been considered.

      Jack Black’s great performances in School of Rock and Bernie are definitely missing from this list as well.

      • Robert MacFarlane

        JGL is my win for (500) Days of Summer, but I consider that a little more dramatic than just comedic. Gleeson is my win as well for In Bruges, but more for the tragedy aspect. I would totally nominate him in The Guard as well, because he was fucking hilarious.

  • UBourgeois

    I do love me some Steve Carell, but I can’t imagine him edging out any of the nominees in 2005. Probably the stronget nominee slate of the last decade.

    That said, what about some older picks? I think Steve Martin in The Jerk could have kicked out Jack Lemmon in 1979. Eddie Murphy may have found room in 1983 or 1984 for Trading Places or Beverly Hills Cop.

    • Robert MacFarlane

      Murphy would have been a GREAT nominee for Trading Places.

  • Joey Magidson

    John Cusack in High Fidelity.

    • Stein-Erik Rutledal

      Just watched it the other day (for the nth time) couldn’t agree more.

      • Joey Magidson


  • Anthony Moseley

    “NOMINEE TO REPLACE: Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman””

    Mr. Davis, my respect for you just went down tremendously.

    • Clayton Davis

      Haha. It’s okay. That is the worst performance to represent a fine actor like Pacino’s career. It’s one of his weakest. That doesn’t mean that HE shouldn’t have an Oscar, just not for that.

      • Anthony Moseley

        Ah, gotcha. In that respect, I can understand. Pacino really should have won for The Godfather or Dog Day Afternoon over Scent of a Woman. I’m just glad he actually won an Oscar.

    • Robert MacFarlane

      Well, they certainly had a bias when they didn’t nominate him for Donnie Brasco.

  • Kevin

    Colin Farrell for In Bruges, hands down.

    • Robert MacFarlane

      I like Farrell a lot in that movie, but I consider Gleeson the MVP of that movie.

      • Kevin

        Gleeson was definitely outstanding too. That year was one of the few times I thought the Globes did something better than the Oscars. I loved that both Gleeson and Farrell were nominated, and Farrell ending up winning. The lack of love for that movie by the academy still drives me nuts.

        • Robert MacFarlane

          I know. It drives me nuts too. Gleeson would be my win for Best Actor that year, so that’s why I brought him up.

  • Steve Glansberg

    Not gonna lie, I probably would have snubbed every one of these performances if I was an academy voter. I like a lot of them, but I already have five favored performances for each category in all of these years. Just not enough room for everyone sometimes.

    I do like your inclusion of suggestions on who should be replaced in each year. Too often, film fans will cry “snub” for a dozen performances from any given year without considering the fact that there are only five slots in each category!

  • Jamie Teller

    Alan Ford in Snatch. Everyone says Brad Pitt, but I say watch that movie again and tell me Brick Top isn’t incredible.

  • Joe G

    Bill Murray in Scrooged

  • Dan Hogan

    Really surprised you didn’t list Paul Giamatti for Sideways — or was it too dramatic?