Scott, To Be Certain


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Show Me The Monkey

Continuing the theme of undeserving hacks inexplicably acquiring Oscars:

"Please have my autograph"

That would be Cuba Gooding Jr, who in 1997 won a best supporting actor Oscar for Jerry Maguire.

Cuba was admittedly charismatic in the film, but in a category also featuring the impressive comic posturing of William H. Macy in Fargo and the shocking duplicity of Edward Norton in Primal Fear, he should have placed 3rd (at best).

Ironically, I bet Cuba also wishes Macy or Norton had won, because his career has been in a free-falling decline ever since. His relationship with Hollywood now resembles the futile, desperate ambitions of someone fleeing his namesake country.

Check out his principal contributions to the annals of history since Oscar:

That second nomination must be just around the corner.

In his defense, it must be a complete headfuck to win an Oscar. You must think you're hot shit, and perhaps brilliant in anything you touch, including anything comedy-related, since your winning role featured that in spades.

But when you win an Oscar for playing someone who thinks he's hot shit, and perhaps brilliant in anything he touches, and then reveal yourself to be not unlike your famous character, that's when the Academy would like to create a rule called Award Recall.

Maybe it's not all Cuba's fault. Maybe the greatest irony for this actor made famous by Jerry Maguire is that his agent is to blame. Who else can be responsible for convincing Cuba to feature almost exclusively in ill-advised comedy vehicles?

At least Cuba has wised up to his poor choices. In early 2006 he declared that he would never star again in another comedy. In explaining his commitment, he said, "The studios won't see me now. I know my stock is low. I thought people wanted me to make them laugh, but I was wrong on so many levels. I try to take all my energy and take it into comedy, and that's when I'm terrible."

Say hello to Cuba's current film:

So much for that then! (Looks like the tagline has added poignancy.)

And that's not all. Cuba is so comedy-averse and quality-driven nowadays that not only is he starring opposite Eddie Murphy in the worst reviewed movie of Murphy's career, but he is signing up for sequels to comedies originally starring Eddie Murphy that not even Eddie Murphy will touch.

Murphy's mediocre 2003 effort Daddy Day Care was apparently not sufficiently explored as a comic premise - it is about to spawn a Cuba-led sequel called Daddy Day Camp.

But wait til you find out who is directing Cuba in this awards magnet of a film!

Yes! Fred Savage, aka Kevin Arnold! (I am not making this shit up.)

Fred was cute as a button as a youngster but it seems that he now, at 30, has such a heinous face that he has chosen to forge a "career" behind the scenes.

Now I really am stumped - is this comedy or tragedy?

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  • At 12:05 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous FranklinBluth said…

    I remember watching a remake of the 'show me the money' scene with Monkeys replacing the actors. Hollywood can "show me the monkey" anytime.

    Fargo is so awesome.

  • At 2:32 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Manxzilla said…

    I'm still a tad discombobulated that The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers wasn't nominated for best makeup in 2002. That'd be the year Frida took the gong. How difficult is it to scribble a monobrow onto Salma Hayek's receptive sinciput, compared with creating an army of waterproof Uruks from a rabble of extras?

    BTW Scott, your charming pic on the BBC website suggests your pili has a reddish tinge to it. Bloodnut, or just the curse of the flash?

  • At 7:30 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not sure i believe you about Fred Savage. The last "where are they now" titbit i heard about the Wonder Years was that urban myth about Kevin's best friend being Marilyn Manson....

    Great blog by the way...


  • At 7:26 PM, February 23, 2007, Blogger comicstriphero said…

    I heard someone say the other day that Eddie Murphy's chances of winning da oscar have nosedived since the release of Nordbert, or whatever it is called.

    Seems fair to me.

  • At 11:03 PM, February 24, 2007, Blogger John said…

    Your blog is pretty ace - Ruth gave me the link after I saw you on the BBC site.
    Check out mine at and let me know what you think.

    xxx John

  • At 3:22 PM, February 26, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    You may be right, CSH - and I wouldn't be too upset about it. I was underwhelmed by Murphy in Dreamgirls.

    I'm afraid the Fred Savage thing is true, Ruthie (I'm assuming "Anonymous" is a cute diminutive form of "Ruth").

    Manxzilla, I hear that Salma's sinciput is but one of many receptive body parts she possesses. Well done on identifying yet another of my favourite words. You have a knack for this.

    John - thanks! I'll head over to John Knows Best for a squiz now...

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