I’ve been agonizing over this question for days. After therapy bills, counseling, support groups, 12-step programs and self-help books, I guess I just have to cop to the fact that I just don’t have a favorite. It fees like weaseling out but it’s the truth. There’s no one actor or actress that I just love to no end.
But as an actor and performer, there are plenty that I enjoy and are or have been either influenced or inspired by, usually based on specific performances. So, I’ll list some of those, although this is by no means exhaustive.
Peter Sellers (Pink Panther series, Dr. Strangelove, and his appearance on The Muppet Show), Gene Wilder (Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Jim Henson (Kermit & other characters in various Muppet shows and movies), Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny & other characters in various Looney Tunes/Warner Bros. cartoons), Robert Hays (Airplane! and Airplane II), Leslie Nielson (Police Squad, Airplane! and Airplane II), Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs), Jim Carrey (physical comedy from early to mid ’90s stuff), Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine), Andy Samberg (SNL Digital Shorts). And Optimus Prime.
Gilda Radner (Saturday Night Live), Carol Burnett (The Carol Burnett Show, Annie), Madeline Kahn (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein), Julie Hagerty (Airplane! & Airplane II), Cheetara, Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, Saturday Night Live), Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy), Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development, Better Off Ted), Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl).
What are your favorites?