Does Jason Mantzoukas Deserve a Shot at a Leading Role?

It’s really, really hard to not laugh when you watch Jason Mantzoukas, but the question of whether or not he deserves a lead role is one that’s kind of interesting since at this point it seems like he might not have hit that point in his career just yet. But one thing is clear, he’s awesome as a supporting actor and if he managed to up his game a bit he could possibly break out of that and become a leading man. One thing about it is that he’s funny, he’s hilarious, but he hasn’t really developed that other quality that enables other comedian to become the lead; he needs to round out his other acting qualities. Comedians are great in that they make you laugh and they know how to keep doing it until your jaw hurts and you feel like you’re going to wet yourself. But the key to acting isn’t being able to master just one thing, it’s being able to wow someone with the sudden switch in the movie or show that depicts that same comedian being able to shift gears and become the serious actor for a moment. Jason hasn’t really reached that point yet it seems, as he’s mostly comedy and has yet to really tap into that other part of his act that needs to be developed.

Can he do it? There’s really no doubt that he can, but until it happens he’s going to be a great supporting actor and nothing higher. The lead position needs to be able to do at least a moderate amount of everything and be able to drive the story without any help. Think about Robin Williams and several others that were hilarious in what they did but could also turn the corner and be sincere and serious as well. That’s what Jason needs to do, and he’s so close that it seems that he could be there in short order.

Here are a few clips to remind you of just how funny he can be, and how very little he really needs to do to become the lead.

Dirty Grandpa

People either loved this film or hated it, there wasn’t a lot of middle ground. But Pam had to be one reason that people would look at it that way since he was the drug-dealing, wise-cracking criminal that never seemed to get what was coming to him on account of being “classic Pam”. Seriously, this guy stole a cop’s car keys and then just took off with the car, with the cop’s permission. He was even let out of jail by the same cops as they were in the habit of letting him go rather than keeping him in jail. This kind of character in real life is someone that most people would look down on and call a straight up psychopath, but in the movies he’s the kind of guy that you somehow count on and think is just another friend that can hook you up from time to time with whatever you need.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is his act right now, comedy. He can no doubt get serious and should be able to take the lead, but right now doesn’t seem like the best time unless he’s ready for it. His first outing might be something of a disaster but then a lot of actors have had to work their way into it and find their own path. Jason might need a movie or a show to flop before he sees what needs to be done and can fix the issues, whatever they might be. The great thing is that he’ll make people laugh, but if that’s all he’s going to do then being a supporting actor will need to be good enough if he wants to keep his career moving forward. It’s not an insult to his character or his act, it’s simply an observation to be made.

The House

This is one crazy movie, but when you put Jason and Will Ferrell together that seems to be what’s going to happen. Add Amy Poehler to the mix is just asking for a hilarious film that is going to make you cry laughing, but it’s still not enough for the lead part. The film is great really despite what critics have said about it, and the funny is on point and well-received. The only part is that Jason still needs to show the passion and the ability to display a dramatic flair that he has yet to master it seems. If he’s able to do it elsewhere then it has yet to be fully noticed since he’s still known for his comedy and little else.

He can take the lead role, that’s not the debate. It’s whether or not he’s really ready for it that’s yet to be seen.


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