Have you ever been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame? I hadn’t until very recently. It’s weird! It is basically a stretch of, like, bodegas and fishnet stockings stores but with a fancy sidewalk. (Even “fancy sidewalk” might be stretching it.) Actually, I guess that is kind of appropriate. Showbuzz! Anyway, Danny DeVito! That guy is seriously (not seriously) the Madonna** of comedy. I’m not really joking. I liked him and the movies that he was in when I was a child, and I like him and the TV show he is on now as an adult, and there are very few other people who have careers like that. It’s rare! You might like something now that you liked as a child, but often times you like it BECAUSE you liked it as a child and it brings up nostalgic feelings for you, or whatever. The people don’t usually adapt themselves over time to remain relevant*. In retrospect, maybe it was weird that I loved the movie Ruthless People, which is about a desperate couple kidnapping a rich dude’s wife only to discover that he doesn’t want her back and was planning on killing her anyway. You know, KIDZ STUFFFFF. But we are not here to talk about me or my parents’ divorce or any of that stuff, we’re here to celebrate Danny DeVito on his special day. You did it, buddy! (Via ONTD.)

*There are a couple of other comedic actors who have tried this with debatable results. Robin Williams, of course, took a turn towards the dramatic, but personally I do not like it, and I stopped being interested in his comedy when I was 14, too manic and desperate and also not funny. (Although I’m sure some people really like his dramatic work, in which case maybe HE is the Madonna of comedy for some people.) Then there is Bill Murray. Well, OK, so, Bill Murray is probably the Madonna of comedy. Sorry, Danny DeVito! But you can keep the Hollywood Star. That’s yours!
**One could also make the argument that Madonna isn’t even the Madonna of Madonna at this point, since she hasn’t really done anything of much interest since 2002′s Swept Away (good one, gotcha!). But let’s just stick with her as a valid metaphor since some of us, no telling who, haven’t even had breakfast yet. Annnnd back to this post being about us. Sorry, Danny!
Comments (33)
  1. Looks like somebody is taking a…

    walk down memory lane.

  2. The old descending asterisk trick. Well played.

  3. I think the reason Danny DeVito has managed to be likeable and entertaining for so long is that he’s game for anything. The reason, I think, that funny people stop being funny is that they can take themselves and their public image too seriously. Once you stop to wonder how the public thinks about you, it affects your work because it’s coming from a very self conscious place. And good comedy, to some extent, relies on the audience getting the sense that the performance is coming from an honest place. I guess what I’m saying (to put it more crudely) is that audiences can smell bullshit and they don’t often find it amusing.

    • I concur. I think if you compare DeVito and Robin Williams you understand how much a performer’s desperation to please can be a serious turnoff. And, like Ron Howard, his work as a producer (Pulp Fiction) has been as much or more important than his acting.

  4. Danny DeVito’s a PHOENIX!

  5. Also, the photos from ONTD are hilarious. Danny taking his shoe off so he can put his bare foot on his star! Rob McElhenney’s kissing his head (I can’t believe how much weight he’s already lost), and that last photo shows Danny with an expression on his face that basically sums up Gabe’s whole article. Love it.

  6. Ever since I saw him take a beershower in IASIP, I sincerely believe he is The Comedian Of Our Time.

  7. How come there’s a shit storm of controversy when photos of Gwyneth Paltrow with a star over her crotch are shown?

    Double standards people!

  8. Ruthless People was the best. It’s pretty much Bette Midler’s only defense. And it’s a defense for EVERYTHING!

  9. This is kind of irrelevant, but that movie Gabe was talking about reminded me of some awful movie I saw with Justin Long and Meg Ryan and (I think) Kristen Bell? And it might the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Had completely forgotten about it until now. If anyone or your gf ever says “Hey, let’s watch this movie with Meg Ryan about her husband leaving her for Kristen Bell!” just say no. The internet tells me it’s called Serious Moonlight.

    Man, I thought I had repressed this, Gabe.

  10. I would also like to submit Jim Carrey for the comedian who I thought was hilarious as a child and then loved his dramatic work as an adult. Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine = we’re gonna need a bigger Jim Carrey dramatic filmography.


  12. Can we put possible contenders for Madonna of Comedy? Using your rubric (great 30 years ago, great now) I’d say Henry Winkler is probably a better choice than Bill Murray.


  13. you mean Danny Devito didnt have a star yet?! this is almost as stupid and eggregious as when they waited until Dennis Hopper was about to die before they gave him one. i mean, Cameron Diaz got one TWO YEARS AGO [priorities] Last time I checked, Cameron Diaz wasn’t on “Taxi” or in Blue Velvet…i know this thing is stupid and sort of just douping celebrities into making appearances at their thing, etc. but there should be some sort of waiting list, like getting into the basketball hall of fame…or maybe some sort of conditions like “if your [very funny, very consistant, but diverse] career is older than some kinda-funny, very inconsistent person who already has one, you get to crow-bar their’s out to put yours in.

    that sounds right.

    • Also, don’t you have to pay for your star if you’re the celebrity? I think you buy your star, so it’s not so much about celebrities deserving recognition and being slighted insomuch as celebrities don’t feel like ordering themselves a star.

      • It’s a weird combination. It’s like get nominated, get picked, then someone has to pay for the star. Adam West just got his ‘approved’, so they are in the process of raising money for it.

        In the same group where he was announced was Matt Groening (they didn’t want to give it to him too soon, they weren’t sure if that Simpsons thing would leave a lasting impact) and Jennifer Anniston for her FILM work, Vin Diesel, Barry White, Walter Koenig, J-Lo, Malcolm McDowell, etc …

        So, a very weird combination of “why didn’t they already have one” and “really? they are getting one?”

  14. Favorite Underrated DeVito movie…Romancing the Stone. So good.

  15. Ya gotta pay tha troll toll
    If you want to get in to this boy’s hole

  16. We don’t call them bodegas in los angeles. We call them stores.

  17. Madonna played at Coachella in 2006.

    So nothing since 2006.

    Sorry, I’m a stickler for music facts.

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