Plenty of athletes are funny. But these are our top 5 performances by athletes being funny on purpose in a movie or tv show.
5. Brett Favre in There's Something About Mary
13 years ago seems about how long it's been since Brett Favre was likable. The Real Housewives-worthy attention-whoring of his repeated retirements meant Fav-ra's Q rating was on a long downward trajectory before this august web site ever introduced the world to Brett's weird Goomba Troopa dong. ￼ But he still nailed his lines in the final scene of There's Something About Mary. "I'm in town to play the Dolphins, dumbs."
4. Mike Tyson in The Hangover
Tyson was great in The Hangover. He even carried a few scenes. That movie was so good that Hollywood released a shot-for-shot remake this summer called The Hangover 2.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane!
Kareem was in a ton of movies and TV shows. His work in Airplane! is most celebrated. And rightly so, because he's the straight man in his scenes. Being the straight man is hard. It requires natural timing. Kareem is actually a talented comedic actor.
2. Kevin McHale in Cheers
- Most athletes are used as little more than props in their cameo spots. (See every Entourage athlete cameo, ever.) McHale was so good opposite Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson that he was brought back repeatedly. This clip shows that Cheers staffers were writing jokes specifically for McHale.
1. Bob Uecker in Major League and Mr. Belvedere
Bob Uecker is the funniest pro athlete of all time. Perhaps Dan Marino and Brett Favre may have been in funnier movies but they're not actual comedic talents. Bob Uecker is an exception. A successful network sitcom was built around this mediocre former catcher. He also ended up stealing all of his scenes in Major League, still the funniest sports movie of the last 25 years. He's a great comic. Stories about being in the booth for Brewers games with Uecker have made me weep. I can't repeat them here or I'll never work in comedy again. He took a beer commercial and made it a cultural phenomenon. He was one of Carson's best guests. Uecker was the ring announcer at one of the greatest moments in sports history. Doug Benson tells a hilarious story about Uecker's time on Mr. Belvedere and how the show had to stop production on multiple occasions because Christopher Hewett, Mr. Belvedere, sat on his own balls. To summarize: For five seasons Uecker carried a network series about a British butler with a lisp living with a family in Pittsburgh and did it with a "star" who repeatedly missed work because he used his own testicles as furniture.