What the Hell Happened to Jim Carrey?

Jim Carrey 2013

In the 1990’s, Jim Carrey was the king of comedy.  He made headlines when he cashed a $20 million dollar paycheck for The Cable Guy after an impressive string of box office successes.  For a while, he seemed poised to make the transition from comedy to drama with movies like The Truman Show and Man on the Moon.  There was even talk that Ace Ventura could one day win an Oscar.  But eventually, Carrey’s winning streak ended.  The dramatic roles dried up and Carrey was reduced to being a supporting player or starring in bland children’s movies.

What the hell happened?

Carrey came from humble beginnings.  He was the youngest of four kids in a French Canadian Catholic family.  His father was a musician who took on a regular job to care for his kids.  His mother was chronically ill.  Things went from bad to worse when Carrey’s dad lost his job.  The entire family was forced to work full time in order to pay the bills.  Carrey dropped out of school at the age of 15 and worked with the rest of his family in janitorial jobs.  They lived out of a van.   He has said he was an angry teen who carried a baseball bat so he could work out his anger.

With the support of his dad, Carrey began experimenting with stand-up comedy.  His early performances (which consisted mostly of impressions) did not go over well and Carrey considered quitting.  But when his family’s financial situation improved, Carrey decided to continue pursuing comedy.  Eventually, he caught the eye of Rodney Dangerfield.  Dangerfield was well-known for taking young comedians under his wing.  He made Carrey his opening act during his touring shows and eventually brought Carrey to Las Vegas.

Carrey turned his attention towards TV and movies.  He auditioned for the 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live.  But Carrey was not cast.  In 1982, he started appearing on TV shows like  An Evening at the Improv.  In 1983, he lived every comedian’s dream of appearing on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.

Carrey began popping in up all kinds of low-budget movies in 1983.  The Sex and Violence Family Hour was a sketch comedy:

carrey - rubberface

Jim Carrey – Rubber Face – 1983

In Rubberface, Carrey played a struggling stand-up comic.  It was originally titled Introducing Janet, but the title was changed to Rubberface for the video release after Carrey’s success.

carrey - all in good taste

Jim Carrey – All in Good Taste – 1983

Carrey also appeared in the Canadian film, All in Good Taste.  It was filmed in 1981 but not shown in theaters until 1983.  Despite his prominence on the cover of the video, Carrey’s role is small and he has no lines.

carrey - copper-mountain

Jim Carrey – Copper Mountain – 1983

Carrey starred opposite future talk show host and Growing Pains dad, Alan Thicke, in the teen sex comedy, Copper Mountain.  Half of the movie consists of musical performances by artists such as Rita Coolidge and the other half is essentially an infomercial about the now-closed Club Med village at the U.S. ski resort at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

In 1984, Carrey did a Jerry Lewis impersonation on the Dabney Coleman show, Buffalo Bill:

Next: Once Bitten and Peggy Sue Got Married


Posted on July 21, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 302 Comments.

  1. ‘There’s no meaning to any of this’: Jim Carrey unleashes BIZARRE red carpet rant which leaves TV host cringing as he awkwardly remarks that ‘there is no me’


    • Jim Carrey Acting & Talking Crazy On The Red Carpet @ NYFW

      I think he’s beginning a downward spiral; and he looks sick. Not that I feel sorry for his nasty self.


      • A gaunt Jim Carrey shows up to chat during Toronto event… the day after THAT strange interview where he said ‘there is no me’ Went on a bizarre rant


      • Something is wrong with Jim Carrey

        There is something really off about this guy. Drugs, mental illness, maybe stress from the lawsuit by his deceased girlfriend’s family? This brief interview is strange and he doesn’t look good at all. The headline of the article calls it “hilarious” but I thought it was unsettling.

        —OP (92 views)

        6 replies 2 18 minutes ago


      • Wow! That was really AWKWARD! Jim Carrey gives THE most interesting red carpet interviews!


        • Jim Carrey gives cringe-worthy NYFW interview, calls everything ‘meaningless’

          That interview went south super quickly.

          E! News reporter Catt Sadler spoke with Jim Carrey at a New York Fashion Week party and was, understandably, surprised by the comedian’s responses—though she kept her composure like a pro.

          The interview, which was conducted outside of Harper’s Bazaar’s ICONS event in Manhattan, began with Carrey circling Sadler like a shark. Then, once the man came to a stop, Sadler asked how the Dumb and Dumber star came to be at NYFW, given that he’s not exactly known for his passion for fashion.

          “There’s no meaning to any of this,” Carrey responded. “So I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could come to and join and here I am. You got to admit, it’s completely meaningless.”

          When Sadler countered that people were there celebrating the night’s icons, Carrey, 55, exclaimed, “Celebrating icons? Boy, that’s just the absolute lowest aiming possibility that we could come up with … I don’t believe that you exist but there is a wonderful fragrance in the air.”

          “I don’t believe in personalities. I believe that peace lies beyond personalities, beyond invention and disguise, beyond the red ‘S’ you wear on your chest, that makes bullets bounce off,” Carrey continued, after he attempted a James Brown impression.

          And, when Sadler tried to steer the conversation back to fashion, complimenting Carrey on his stylish suit, the actor said, “I didn’t get dressed up.”

          “There is no me,” he explained. “There’s just things happening. And there are clusters of tetrahedrons moving around together.”


          Maybe Carrey’s just trying to joke around, embracing the absurd and the existentialist in an attempt to find humor? Or maybe the death of his ex-girlfriend Cathriona White—and the subsequent wrongful death lawsuit filed against him—is just taking a toll on him.


        • Jim Carrey, Behind the Mask: The Actor Explains His Viral Red Carpet Interview, Painting, and Life

          Jim Carrey likes to mess with people. Using 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage from Milos’ Forman’s 1999 Andy Kaufman biopic “Man in the Moon,” Carrey and director Chris Smith created “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond,” a documentary that details Carrey’s aggressive Method approach to portraying Kaufman and his abrasive, lounge-singing alter ego Tony Clifton. It shows that Carrey baffled everyone on set and beyond it, crashing parties and workplaces in character as he burrowed so far inside the role no one was sure he’d come back. Pitched somewhere between a punchline and psychosis, the result was one of his most remarkable, lived-in performances in a career filled with jarring slapstick creations.

          “It was a choice as an actor to have Andy come back and make his movie, to push me aside,” Carrey said during an interview in Toronto to promote the documentary, which Netflix recently acquired. “I was wondering how much of that inside me is because I don’t have the same courage as Andy. In order to do those things that flout convention and challenge people, make them angry, Andy was the better man for the job.”

          Carrey hasn’t starred in a comedy since 2014’s “Dumb and Dumber To,” but this documentary gives context to recent outings like his New York Fashion Week red-carpet appearance September 8 at New York Harper’s Bazaar’s ICONS party. As a helpless E! reporter tried to take control of the situation, Carrey went on an existential rant (“it’s not our world, we don’t matter”) and claimed that the icons celebrated by the party don’t exist. A few days later, he was still mulling over whether he had gone too far.

          “Every time something like that has happened, I’ll look at it and go, ‘Oh my gosh, I really wasn’t very respectful of what they were trying to do,’” he said. “But at the same time, people are drawn to it. Because it is bulls***, it doesn’t mean anything. What’s an icon? It’s like, these are all abstract ideas. I have characters that I think about fondly, but the icon business is a weird deification of people that is never really a healthy thing.”

          While he hasn’t tackled a role as audacious as “Man on the Moon” in years, the last decade has found Carrey toying with new ways of pushing his deranged comedic persona to the masses — often with an edge of uncertainty about his intentions that resembles Kaufman’s agenda.

          In 2011, Carrey released a YouTube video professing his undying love for Emma Stone in an unnerving closeup that led many people to believe it was genuine. The negative reaction was more extreme that he expected. “The thing bothers me is a misinterpretation of my intentions or the flat-out predatory way of making trouble out of what I’ve said,” he said. “I can’t see personally how anyone didn’t think that was a joke. My chin is quivering. It was ridiculous. But it was a time in my progression as an actor and as a successful person for people to look for trouble and go, ‘OK, here’s our chance. He’s creepy.’”


  2. Jim Carrey Has Always Regretted Turning Down Spike Jonze As Director of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls


  3. Jim Carrey Returns to TV with Showtime Comedy Series Kidding

    Showtime comedy series Kidding will mark the decades-in-the-making television return of Jim Carrey, who will serve as headliner.


  4. Jim Carrey On Another Planet! Thinks Alien Reptiles Rule Earth

    Comic Jim Carrey is secretly a follower of a kooky conspiracy nut who believes alien reptiles run the world! Even nuttier, the Dumb and Dumber star plans to go public with his commitment to whack job David Icke’s bizarre theory!

    “Icke has spent years wooing Jim, and it’s finally paid off. Jim is now a disciple of this guy!” claimed a source.

    The crazy coupling helps explain Carrey’s bizarre behavior during New York Fashion Week when he declared he “didn’t exist.”

    Icke, a 65-year-old former soccer player, is a British broadcaster and author who frequently raves about the Illuminati, the legendary secret society aimed at global domination and populated by the alien reptiles.

    When confronted about his screwy convictions, Icke said: “For 26 years I have taken untold f–king s–t and ridicule from people who don’t know their arse from their elbow. I didn’t and I don’t have any regrets!”

    An insider tattled: “Jim’s into all of Icke’s weird theories. He’s studied his speeches and dispatches to the very last letter.”

    “He goes to as many of Icke’s public appearances as he can — often in disguise — to avoid any attention,” continued the insider. “He’s mesmerized by everything Icke says!”

    Insiders told Radar The Mask star wants Icke’s unhinged gospel spread to the masses — and his way-out Fashion Week outburst may be the first sign of more manic preaching to come.

    “It’s a big reason why Jim ranted on the red carpet,” the source spilled.

    “If you thought he was crazy before, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”


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