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Stand-Up Comedians Who Became Great Actors?

It’s par for the course in the entertainment world that when one person is successful in one area, they may challenge themselves in another. And what we have seen quite a few times is stand-up comedians making a move to Hollywood. But which of those stand-up comedians broke the mould to become great actors in their own right?

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Ed Helms

Ed Helms, 48, is one of the most accomplished men in the entertainment business today. The actor, who is well known for starring as Stuart in the 2009 hit movie The Hangover, a movie that saw phenomenal success, went on to spawned sequels as well as one of the most popular themed online slots games. But did you know that between 2002 and 2006, he was a crucial part of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart? And it was around that time that Helms was also doing his stand-up routines that were often broadcast on TV shows. You could suggest that, in many ways, his comedy routes prepared him for what was to come as an actor, especially as he’s starred in comedy movies and in TV shows such as The Office US.

Whoopi Goldberg

It was always Whoopi Goldberg’s intention to make it in Hollywood. But before she finally got a break, there were years she put in the time honing her craft. In her earliest days, Goldberg attempted to make it in stage plays, but because this didn’t go as planned, she gave stand-up comedy a shot, with her routine The Spook Show going down a hit. It was that good Mike Nichols took Goldberg to Broadway on the back of it, and it was from here that her stellar film career took off. Before you know it, Oscar nominations and the like came along; the rest is history.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey, 60, from the outset was a stand-up comedian. And a very good one at that. The Canadian was playing in Toronto nightclubs for a while before Rodney Dangerfield, a comedy icon, decided to mentor Carrey. For years Carrey developed his stand-up skills, moving to play in venues in LA before unleashing new routines that really shot him to fame on the comedy circuit. It was only a matter of time, especially after TV appearances, before Carrey would get his break in the acting game, and when he did, he took to it like a duck to water, primarily because of the comedic roles in which he was cast.

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton is the type of guy that, in his younger years, was always out to make his friends laugh. And this gave him the idea of turning to comedy as a profession. He went down the usual path of local stand-up shows and the like, but he quickly began dreaming of making it as an actor, and after a couple of roles on TV followed, Keaton’s reputation started snowballing, and this saw him land much more prestigious parts. Keaton’s rapid rise to the top has been nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the roles he played in some massive box-office hits.

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