Summer Extremes & Those Who’ll Go There

Leave a comment

So how were the Father’s Day celebrations? Did our PCA/ET poll give you enough gentle reminders so you weren’t totally caught off guard (as we’ve all been in past years) with an all-wrong tie and after-shave your Dad won’t wear? By the way, did you catch the ET coverage of our poll last Friday featuring a special guest appearance from PCA’s own Prez Fred Nelson? If you haven’t yet caught F.Nel on the little screen, click here.

So how about Toy Story 3? $109 million dollars says maybe summer has some super popular movies ahead.(That’s not to say that there haven’t been good films, but from an economic point of view – like you care, I know – the movie biz has been in a slump.) Again, all that may change June 30th when Bella starts playing Musical Dudes. Just saying. So in anticipation of this and other films, I want to talk about our appetite for extreme characters (and the actors who are willing to play them) in summer entertainment. I happened to catch a movie and a TV show this weekend, both of which I enjoyed (one I’d seen before) and both of which demonstrated that what we really, really like in summertime is when people we think are cool say and do completely outrageous things. I’m talking about Russell Brand and, to a gentler but no-less-funny degree  Betty White, both of whom have figured very prominently on the radar of late. RB’s got a movie in theatres called  Get Him To The Greek, which I saw. And Betty White’s got a new TV series but Saturday they rebroadcast her wildly-lauded performance on SNL. Now, with Get Him To The Greek, we have a completely foul-mouthed wastrel of a man addicted to all sorts of bad habits and narcotics who is still stupefyingly charming. The movie also stars Jonah Hill, who is well, Jonah Hill — and what you see is what you get and if you enjoy him you’ll like this picture. But the key here is former rock-star-poised-for-a–comeback-if-he-can-just-make-it Russell Brand, because everything out of his mouth is either super-raunchy, ultra–mean spirited, or stupid, and above all narcissistic, and yet we can’t help but root for him. And the more insipid and thoughtless the things he says are, the more we love him. This may also be connected to a certain tongue-in-cheek thing he has working which is the golden combo of humor and self-effacement – a winner every time. Same with Betty White. She comes on SNL by popular demand. She is never anything but gracious, but not in an aw,shucks way (she’s too classy for that ) rather, she seems mystified by the adoration which makes us love her more. Then the writers of SNL do something which sends audiences over the moon – they make her say outrageous things. Things most of us only think. The more over-the-top the better. Personally, I think she’s hilarious but occasionally wonder why everyone thinks it’s so neat to hear an 88-year old woman say something dirty – but that’s just me. Concepts like “subtlety” and “nuance” are, in the summer at least,  kinda rare. Because between Memorial Day and Labor Day what we want is the nuclear explosion, the hyper-gory-dismemberment, the 18-car pileup and the 15-strippers – preferably in the same movie or TV show. This is not to say that summer entertainment isn’t fun, because obviously it is. But this all got me thinking about what we enjoy the most in June, July and August, and usually it’s something dialed up to eleven. Which is when they bring out the actors who will do that. With this in mind, consider 4 guys from big movies and who have little or no trouble saying almost anything (which includes exposing themselves to ridicule) to make us laugh, squeal and squirm. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and let us know which of these men who love to be over-the-top is your favorite:

1)    Russell Brand

2)    Jack Black

3)    Will Ferrell

4)    Zach Galifianakis

For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!