It’s been two happy days in a row for us here at Rainbow Chair for five very important reasons. Four are males, one is female; five are white, one is black; all of them are funny, depending on whom you have to ask, and you would have to ask very different people to get the same response, and at least one of them is, or was, or is, a drunk.
Any guesses? I’m sure with clues like that, you had no problem guessing Alec Baldwin, Eddie Murphy, Amanda Bynes, Robert Downey Jr. and Craig T. Nelson were collectively the reason why it was such a happy day for us! And it’s not because Tyler Perry is in talks to make a sitcom called, Madea goes to Hollywood!, where he would portray Baldwin, Murphy, Bynes, Downey and Nelson trying to co-star in a movie with America’s favorite funny woman, Madea. It’s actually because believe it or not, all five of these people were born between today–Wednesday, and yesterday.
In honor of their birthday, it is only fitting to point the very best, and of course, the very worst of these famous birthday boys and girl. So let’s get started, from oldest to youngest beginning with those born yesterday.
Arrrick Bawdwin (lame South Park joke), Alec Baldwin, born 1958, April 3
The Best – Picking one is going to be hard for a lot of these, but perhaps none will be as hard as Alec Baldwin. I began my life as in infant—duh—but I also began my life not liking Alec Baldwin. I don’t know why, he was just one of those guys that just gave me a bad first impression, and to this day I have no idea why. Be that as it may, I really, really, like what he has been doing as of late, particularly with 30 Rock. If you have not given that show a try yet you are a damn fool, because year in and year out, that show remains one of the funniest and innovative comedy shows on television. This wouldn’t be a best of Baldwin section without pointing out his great run on Saturday Night Live. I think I probably didn’t like the Baldwins as much as I could have, and by the Baldwins I mean Alec—ha ha, poor other Baldwins—because I didn’t start watching SNLs with Baldwin in them until not too long ago, but I must admit, he has been funny for a long time, and he has been GOOD at being funny whenever he has been given the chance to do so. This is also really random, but as I was going through Baldwin’s filmography I noticed something Baldwin had done that elevated him to near Tyler Perry status, which for those of you who don’t know, would rank higher than God, but lower than Brendan Frasier on the “Totally awesome, I can’t believe how cool you are,” rank list. One of my favorite shows growing up as a child was Thomas the Tank Engine, you know, the show that made Ringo a Star? Well apparently, it also made Alec a Baldwin, because he was the narrator of the American Thomas the Tank Engine, from 1998-2003. Let’s not forget Beetle Juice, perhaps one of his most beloved comedies of all time.
The Worst – Ever seen Baldwin play a villain? Ever seen him play a serious villain? Don’t. Please, please don’t. I’m sure he tried his best, but he definitely appeared at his worst during his role in Mercury Rising. But perhaps even worse than his role in Mercury Rising, his performance in The Cat in the Hat has got to top them all, but I must point out that I have never seen Cat in the Hat, but I did read about it on Wikipedia 2 minutes ago, and that makes me an expert. Apparently, The Cat in the Hat was nominated for eight Razzie Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Mike Myers), Worst Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin), Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Screen Couple (Myers and either Thing One or Thing Two), winning one for Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content). It also won a Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Worst Film. Ha ha, need I say more?
Eddie Murphy, born 1961, April 3
The Best – Adults would say his best work ever was in the Beverly Hills Cop series, but I was a bit on the young side to agree, and prefer the borderline crazy but funny Murphy that he soon developed into. I don’t know why I enjoy Bowfinger so much, but this is my list and I am going to slide it in here as opposed to putting it under his worst. I mean, it wasn’t terrible, and Steve Martin is in it! That’s got to count for something. Perhaps my favorite performance Murphy has done though is as Donkey in the Shrek series. He seems to almost have been born for that role. One of the best animated castings I have seen in a long time. Let’s not forget good ol’ Buckweat from SNL though.
The Worst – Ha ha, where to begin. The Adventures of Pluto Nash is probably a good start. What I would like to know is who was the guy or girl who had the final say on whether or not to make this movie because whoever it was, really needs to never be in a decisions making role again in their life. It. Was. Terrible. I was even going to add Alec Baldwin’s worst category, but as he was uncredited in it, I decided to reserve all the hate for Murphy. A worst of Murphey list wouldn’t be complete without talking about Norbit and everything after the first Dr. Doolittle and Nutty Professor—not that the first doesn’t belong on his best list, just not his worst either. But the sequels, and Norbit? Forgive me for being politically incorrect, but why does every funny black man think they need to either dress up like old women or the entire cast of a movie?—I don’t actually mean every funny black man, I’m actually speaking directly to Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence right now. “The jig is up, you guys should know you don’ stand a chance getting a good review acting as an entire cast or dressing up like a hilarious old, and of course, fat, woman when Tyler Perry’s around stealing all of the lime light. Come on fellas!
Amanda Bynes, born 1986, April 3
The best – In my eyes, there are really only two respectable things this actress has done that would make her best list, besides being extremely pretty and agreeing to go out on a date with me later this week. The Amanda Show, which really wasn’t to appealing to me, but I can appreciate it for what it was, and one of my all-time favorites from my childhood, All That. I love all that, and I’m going to have to just leave it at that, or we might as well change the show to All Day, because that’s how long I could talk about it.
The Worst – ANYTHING that isn’t All That, really. I didn’t even like What I Like About You, oh Amanda, if only you were still a kid, then you’d be funny.
Robert Downey Jr., born 1965, April 4
The Best – I don’t want to spend too much time on RDJ, mainly because I feel like recently, I would be adding nearly every movie he has recently made to the list. Like a bottle of fine wine, one he hasn’t already drank, of course, Downey just gets better with age. Iron Man defied all the odds when it didn’t suck, like Spider Man and The Hulk did, and Sherlock Holmes I thought was awesome. Ha ha, he was even in Bowfinger. Maybe Downey and Murphy were out celebrating their birthday week and Murphy snuck him into a few shots, who knows. Even though I’ve never seen it, I feel like Chaplin needs to be added to this list. It not only one Robert an Oscar nomination in 1992, it also won him a British Academy Award.
The worst – I would like to feature somebody else’s worst performance by RDJ, because to be perfectly honest, I have seen probably the least of RDJ out of the people I am spotlighting, and I feel like I would never be able to do it justice. What I do know is that Due Date does NOT belong on his worst list, no matter what Orangechair tries to tell you. This worst of Downey comes from Erin Demchak of StarPulse.com. She thinks that The Singing Detective, 2003, was the worst film RDJ has ever been in. “This 2003 film is based on the BBC miniseries in which novelist Dan Dark (played by Robert) is hospitalized for a painful skin disorder and believes that he is the detective in the book he is reading. The plot is all over the place and because it’s a musical, they randomly burst out into song throughout the movie, which is distracting. To boot, we don’t get to see the dapper Robert that we all love so much, instead we are forced to watch him in a hospital bed covered with lesions,” Demchak said.
Craig T. Nelson, born 1944, April 4
The Best – Two things need to be added to this list and two things only: Coach and The Incredibles. One of my father’s favorite shows, Coach is a classic. Nelson’s gruff confrontational personality clashes perfectly with Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick, and Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of everyone’s favorite starfish, Patrick Star. His speaking role as Mr. Incredible is one of those roles that I mentioned before when talking about Eddie Murphy as Donkey, just a perfect match.
The Worst – Not sure where to start to be honest, I suppose the more than 20 straight to television movies he has been in would be a good place.
Th-th-t-h-t—ththth—thth-ththt-th-th-th-That’s all Folks