Top 10 Unscripted Jim Carrey Moments That Were Left in the Movie
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unscripted Jim Carrey Moments That Were Left in the Movie.
For this list, we’ll be looking at reported Jim Carrey improvisations that proved so funny that directors couldn’t bear to cut them.
What are some of YOUR favorite unscripted Jim Carrey moments? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Dr. Robotnik’s Dance
“Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020)
Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik was an odd casting choice to say the least, but it resulted in a fun performance that allowed the actor to revisit his over-the-top roots. The comedian was given free rein to ad-lib on set and by the end of shooting, Carrey wasn’t sure how much of the actual script made it into the movie. Carrey’s most uproarious improvisation comes in the form of a dance sequence. While analyzing one of Sonic’s quills, Robotnik cuts loose with choreography that only Carrey could come up with on the spot. It was reportedly Carrey’s idea to include the song “Where Evil Grows,” remembering it from his childhood. Carrey’s assistant Nicole also fed him a line when Agent Stone shows up with lattes.
#9: “On Nine”
“Me, Myself & Irene” (2000)
Playing a character with a split personality, Carrey was even more unpredictable than usual in “Me, Myself & Irene.” On multiple occasions, he caught his co-stars off guard. One such example is when Carrey’s Charlie asks his three teenage sons for a kiss goodbye, which apparently wasn’t in the script. In another instance, Irene and Charlie’s other personality Hank decide to ditch their vehicle. Ready to shove the car off a cliff, Hank tells Irene to push on the count of nine. Why not the count of ten? It doesn’t really matter since Hank counts down in barely a second. Carrey came up with this line and you can tell from the bewildered look on Renée Zellweger’s face that she wasn’t prepared for it.
#8: The Cellist’s Arm
“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1994)
Carrey was heavily involved in the production of “Ace Ventura,” contributing rewrites to the script and injecting numerous moments off the top of his head. Infiltrating a party, Ace does everything in his power not to blend in. As if his eccentric wardrobe and personality weren’t enough to draw attention to himself already, Ace goes out of his way to pull on a cellist’s arm. This causes the musician to hit a wrong note, but Ace just keeps walking without skipping a beat. Carrey threw in this random moment without preparing anyone, least of all the cellist. Even when given the most straightforward direction, Carrey can’t resist sprinkling in something extra.
#7: “Hello, Clarice”
“The Cable Guy” (1996)
If we had to single out the two most horrifying characters to come out of the ‘90s, they would undoubtedly be Hannibal Lecter and Jim Carrey’s Cable Guy. Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating when it comes to the latter, but Chip Douglas does borrow a page from Hannibal the Cannibal in this scene. At a Medieval Times restaurant - seriously, why aren’t there more of those? - Chip asks Matthew Broderick’s Steven for his chicken skin. Draping his face in the skin, Chip imitates Hannibal’s gruesome disguise from “The Silence of the Lamps.” You can tell that Carrey improvised this moment based on Broderick’s reaction. As Carrey covers his face with poultry, Broderick is unable to maintain a straight face, visibly breaking on screen.
#6: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
“Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” (1995)
Once again, Carrey had the creative freedom to go wild as Ace Ventura. Fulton Greenwall is completely unprepared when Ace decides to take a shortcut. Likewise, actor Ian McNeice wasn’t expecting Carrey to suddenly burst out singing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Having forgotten his lines, Carrey ad-libbed with the theme from the Dick Van Dyke musical adventure. Way to make an already stressful situation even more unhinged. We’re not sure what’s more impressive: Carrey’s manic improvisation skills or the fact that McNeice didn’t break out laughing. Director Steve Oedekerk chose to keep the scene since Carrey and McNeice managed to stay in character throughout. As Carrey hits the song’s final note, however, McNeice can be spotted cracking a smile as he covers his ears.
#5: Directing Max
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)
As the Grinch, Carrey concocted much of his dialogue, including his 6:30 dinner line. Arguably his most elaborate ad lib took aim at the film’s director, Ron Howard. Before heading off to Whoville, the Grinch attempts to get his dog Max into character as Rudolph. He does this by channelling Howard, even donning one of the director’s signature baseball caps. What ensues is 100% Carrey, poking fun at Howard’s directing methods. Howard wasn’t offended by Carrey’s imitation of him. On the contrary, Howard found it so hysterical that he couldn’t leave it out of the picture. Of course, Howard had to cut some of Carrey’s more adult-oriented ad libs throughout the film to keep things PG. Are we the only ones who want an R-rated director’s cut?
#4: Meeting Count Olaf
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004)
This dark comedy has too many improvised moments to keep track of, but Carrey’s introduction as Count Olaf is definitely a highlight. Although he acts as if the world is his stage, Olaf is ironically a horrible actor. So, when Olaf asks Klaus Baudelaire to repeat the line that he just said, it seems to be on-brand for the character. In reality, Carrey forgot his next line and decided to spin his mistake into comedic gold. A confused Klaus thus says his line again, prompting a more shocked reaction from Olaf. Between the performances and the editing, this unscripted moment plays out seamlessly. Carrey is a method actor and even when drawing a blank, he can stay true to his role.
#3: “That One’s for Free”
“The Truman Show” (1998)
Believe it or not, it was Carrey’s performance as Ace Ventura that convinced director Peter Weir to cast him as Truman Burbank, one of his most dramatic roles. Weir also came to appreciate Carrey’s improv talents, which can be seen in the finished film. When Truman talks to himself - and the audience - in the mirror, Carrey added an extra bit of whimsy to the moment. As his character pretends to be an outer space explorer, Carrey took a piece of soap and drew a helmet on the mirror. Apparently there was another take where Carrey sketched a dress, although the astronaut attire best illustrates Truman’s desire to escape from Seahaven Island. Kind of ironic that Carrey would later play a man on the moon.
#2: “Sorry, Wrong Pocket”
“The Mask” (1994)
When Stanley Ipkiss first transforms into the cartoony Mask, he has some fun at the expense of a local street gang by setting up a balloon animal booth. After making one gangster a giraffe, the Mask reaches into his pocket and accidentally pulls out a soggy, used balloon. Oh wait... we just realized that was not a balloon! There goes our childhood innocence. The moment is only made more hilarious when you consider that Carrey apparently came up with this bit. Talk about being a master of improv and prop comedy.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Losing Lisp, “The Cable Guy” (1996)
Carrey Forgot to Speak with a Lisp & Rolled with It
An Epic Fail or An Epic Success?, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)
Everything Was Supposed to Fall Off When Carrey Pulled the Tablecloth
Scenes with Milo, “The Mask” (1994)
Many of Carrey’s Scenes with the Dog Were Ad-Libbed
#1: “The Most Annoying Sound in the World”
“Dumb and Dumber” (1994)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carrey was entirely responsible for some of the funniest lines in this cult comedy classic. While exiting the hotel lobby bar, Carrey injected Lloyd’s priceless reaction to landing on the moon, which had been old news for twenty-five years by that point. Carrey’s most notable contribution, however, comes during an already obnoxious car ride. Stuck between Harry and Lloyd, hired goon Mental is on the verge of cracking. So naturally, Lloyd tries to ease tensions by making the most annoying sound in the world. This was all Carrey’s doing and it’s easy to spot the look of uncertainty on Jeff Daniels’ face leading up to it. Daniels also joins in making the sound, but not before cracking up.