Jim Carrey started out as anything but a star. Having to work as janitor so he could earn extra money for his family in high school, he didn’t exactly get a head start. However, this didn’t stop him from chasing his seemingly impossible dreams. Through thick and thin he developed his comedy, stage presence, and impressions. At age 17, he performed at a comedy club called Yuk Yuk’s and hit it dead on (“Jim Carrey” Jim Carrey). Entertaining the crowd with crazy facial expressions, acts, and impressions, he captivated his audience.
After several failures and comedy attempts, he found success with the movie Earth Girls Are Easy, which led him to the TV show, In Living Color, his first big hit with his audience. Later he starred in films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. These movies wowed audiences with his seemingly rubber face, absurd actions, and overdramatic antics, which is what he became to be identified by. Jim Carrey is iconic through his slapstick, absurdity, and farce humor.
Jim Carrey’s slapstick is the most popular of all his comedy, and most of his comedies involve slapstick. But Jim Carrey had used slapstick to entertain others long before his movies. Even as a baby, he would entertain his family by making funny faces instead of eating his food and throughout his childhood he amused his family and classmates with his crazy facial expressions and strange impressions, mostly of animals (“Jim Carrey” Jim Carrey). Carrey was without a doubt “an incurable extrovert from day one” (“Jim Carrey” IMDb).
After years of developing his comedy, stage presence, and impressions after a childhood failure, he performed at Yuk Yuk’s and made a good living doing stand-up until he moved to L. A. to fulfill his dreams. When he got to L. A. , he knew “ was putting out something didn’t want to be known for… wanted to…create some things that had never been done before”(qtd. in “Jim Carrey” Biography Today). He then entered a period of experimentation where he would try out different things, seeing what was right for him.
During nights of stand-up he would sometimes wriggle around on the stage like a worm during other comedians performances, and others he would experiment with every facial muscle he had. Some nights his performances would bomb, and others it would do amazing. The audience just couldn’t get enough of him. After a while, Carrey found his style. He came back as a changed comedian. Carrey “wowed audiences with…his ability to improvise routines based on audience suggestions” and his even crazier antics (“Jim Carrey” Biography Today). Soon he began to fear that he would be trapped in stand-up forever, and started to move towards TV and film.
In 1994 he starred in the movie: Ace Venture: Pet Detective, a “no-brainer comedy… was the breakout role for Carrey” (“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”). Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was a perfect example of his very unique style of comedy, exhibiting his “face like Silly Putty, and vivacious verbal velocity” (“Jim Carrey” 501 Movie Stars). In the same year he also came out with The Mask, a movie in which “the idea was to make the audience unsure of where crazy facial expressions leave off and the special effects begin” (qtd. n “Jim Carrey” Biography Today). Another hit, Jim Carrey was climbing the ladder up to America’s most popular actor in a very short time. His slapstick humor had served him well in creating his career and shooting it up to the top of the charts. Not all of Carrey’s humor was through slapstick. He also used absurdity to amuse audiences, and it worked. All through his life he had paired his slapstick with absurdity to make his funniest moments funnier. In fact, his slapstick comedy was often absurd in many ways.
Random reactions to certain situations proved to be quite entertaining for viewers. Later in his stand-up career, mainly during his experimentation period, he would try different examples of absurdity, again, some bombing and some successful, but his first absurdity comedy film was in 1994, when he starred in Dumb and Dumber. Full of over-the-top strange scenes, personalities, and “enthusiastic performances by the two stars”, this movie had been ranked number seven in the world opening year (“Dumb and Dumber” Leonard)(“Dumb and Dumber” Box Office).
Jim Carrey was on a roll, and he had reached even higher on the charts than he had before. Carrey’s last main form of humor is farce. With this, he completes his very unique style and identity in the comedy world. Carrey had always been overdramatic about his comedy, and it made him even more entertaining. His over-acting amused several audiences. One of his major farcical comedies is Liar Liar, which definitely “delivers the laughs for his fans” (“Liar Liar”).
With several scenes of extreme emotions, actions, and vocal expression, Carrey captures his audience yet again. One example is a scene in which, of course, he can’t lie, and he tries to make himself by telling the simple lie of a pen being red, when it is blue. He becomes extremely frustrated, face turning into different expressions and his voice making several strange sounds. The scene then shows to after his struggle with himself as he unwillingly yells the real color and continues to write all over any surface he can, including his face, hands, desk, and drawers.
Another scene is one in which he escapes from the courtroom to a bathroom where he beats himself up on every thing he can find: toilet seats, the wall, soap, the air-conditioning vent, the sink, and he also uses his hands. However, he isn’t done yet when in 2003 he brings Bruce Almighty to the table. Receiving positive reviews, some say that “Carrey is at his best” (“Bruce Almighty”). He rocks the box office and is among the highest paid actors in Hollywood. Without his farce, Jim Carrey would not be the same.
Jim Carrey uses slapstick, absurdity, and farce to entertain his audiences, and it works. All of these movies “have made him…popular with moviegoers of all ages and tastes” (“Jim Carrey” 501 Movie Stars). He invented his own comedy style, and accomplished things that had never been done before—things that changed the comedy world. Without Carrey, the comedy world might not have been the same, because no one has quite met his match yet. Jim Carrey is iconic through his unique style of comedy, which includes slapstick, absurdity, and farce humor.