Jim Carrey—love him or hate him, his career is full of amazing work. Carrey inspired a generation of comedy lovers over the years with incredible on-camera moments. That being said, he’s got a bit of a weird streak. He is an actor, and actors aren’t actors if they’re not at least kinda weird. It almost seems to be part of the gig. Whether it’s moments from the Man on the Moon Netflix documentary or tweeting his political paintings, the In Living Color alum fills the role of ‘weird actor guy’ well, and he does it with such a lovable panache that his fans gobble it up and stick around for more.
Here are six times Carrey was an utter wackadoo, and the world watched with awe and adoration anyway.
When he wrote himself a check for $10 million
In this interview with Oprah Winfrey, Carrey explains how he would park up in the Hollywood Hills and fantasize about being a success, an idea he admitted getting from reading many self-help books. As part of his desire to be successful and manifest a robust career, he wrote himself a check for $10 million for “Acting Services Rendered” that he carried in his wallet until it deteriorated. Slightly odd? Yah. Charming anyway? You’re damn right.
When he surprised us with his painting skills
This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous! pic.twitter.com/MeYLTy1pqb
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 17, 2018
It can be confusing when actors decide to change up their careers and try something new. The public has a certain image of the performer in their minds, and then—voila! Now he or she is doing something different like running a restaurant or farming alpacas.
So when Carrey started painting and sharing his work on social media, his fans reacted with understandable praise and criticism of the pieces. One particular painting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders won him extra ire for its depiction of her as a witch-like hag. The Guardian called his work “proof that Hollywood stars should avoid the canvas.” The Telegraph called them “terrible satirical portraits”. Meanwhile, The Onion’s A.V. Club showed him some love and called him “actually really good”, another example of Carrey’s uncanny ability to skirt disapproval, even following weird behavior.
Though, if his political satire continues in this direction, he might start an international incident.
When Carrey wouldn’t stop being Andy Kaufman
Carrey terrorized the cast and crew of the movie Man On The Moon in which he played Andy Kaufman. Carrey committed fully to the role, playing Kaufman-style pranks on actors. He put Danny Devito’s car up on blocks. The Ace Ventura star pretty much tormented all involved by “being Andy” every day, whether cameras rolled or not. The antics were so epic that Netflix released a documentary in 2017 called Jim and Andy using real video footage shot by his girlfriend at the time.
When he pissed everyone off at Fashion Week
He pretty much opened with “fuck” in this chin-droppingly awesome interview with E! News during 2017’s Fashion Week. His out-of-the-gate comment was, “I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could fucking come to”, a win for anyone who walks out of an annoying conversation thinking, “I should’ve said…”, because he did, in fact, say exactly what was on his mind. Then, he does a brief James Brown impression and explains that we are just clusters of tetrahedrons moving around together. Some called it a breakdown, but the cool kids screamed with delight through it all.
When he played a big, unfunny sad sack in Kidding
Carrey started his career as a comedic actor but went on to display incredible acting chops through more serious roles, such as Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Truman Burbank in The Truman Show. So seeing him go back to the small screen where it all started in a role that is depressing and stressful to watch in Kidding felt downright weird to many of his fans. Variety called the series, “Caught between too many tones and ideas” and an Atlantic review stated, “Jim Carrey is wasted on a bleak TV show”.
Though the show is indeed well-written and Carrey, as usual, gives an incredible performance as Jeff Pickles—an iconic Mr. Rogers-esque fellow— many watched hoping for more laughter. Still, the 76% rating it earned on Rotten Tomatoes proves that most of the show’s audience was not mad, and the audience forgave him for making us sit through such an emotional gut-punch of a show.
When he dated Jenny McCarthy and supported her anti-vaccine crusade
Was Carrey committed to the anti-vax beliefs he spouted during his relationship with Jenny McCarthy, who went on repeated public tirades against them? Or was he simply whipped?
Either way, the comedy icon was forgiven, as he went on to star in dozens of hit films and win the hearts and minds of many—even after using his celebrity power to wax poetic on something as polarizing as the (debunked) evils of vaccinations. Perhaps his apology helped, but one might surmise that he would have sailed through it all, regardless, because he certainly seems to have a get out of jail free card at the ready when he needs one.