When the Funny Get Serious: Gigs You Wouldn’t Expect From Comedy’s Best

In 2011, Stephen Colbert made his New York Philharmonic debut as Harry in Company opposite fellow fun-man Neil Patrick Harris. Who knew that one of America’s most popular fake news anchors could sing? Well, he can. And he did. But production used the best of comedy chops. He did a guest spot on Law & Order: Criminal Intent  in season 3 episode 16 entitled “The Saint” and he was serious. He plays a document authenticator who will do anything to keep his mom (played by industry vet Lois Smith) happy.

Funnyman, Jim Gaffigan, has appeared on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as well as Law & Order twice each and an episode of Law & Order: SVU. I guess he can do drama really well too.

Fellow Bostonian, and someone whom I worked with on Rescue Me, Denis Leary, actually has a long list of credits that highlight his serious side. Most recently, he starred alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spiderman playing Stone’s father, Captain Stacy.

We all know that Adam Sandler can be funny. But who knew he could be serious at the same time. If you haven’t seen Punch Drunk Love, watch it. It’s probably Sandler’s best performance.

Jim Carrey won a Golden Globe for showing his serious side in The Truman Show. But you may not be familiar with The Majestic. Check out this scene:

This just goes to show you that actors are actors. They can be funny, they can be serious. They can just, be. Don’t under-estimate comedians. Oftentimes, they are some seriously serious people in real life and they can bring that to the stage or screen just as effortlessly as they do comedy.

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